Only Missing A Meteor Strike
I mean the title should sum up 2020 alright! We are already in November and that means it is time for an October 2020 Welted Shoe News Article! And surprise surprise I got some news for you. Not a meteor strike but you know everything is possible in 2020…
In this one we will take a look at more scammers, as well as a few updates on the likes of Foster & Son and some incredible restorations. There is also a very surprising entry that showcases how shady Instagram can really be.
Are you ready to rumble? Let’s do this!
Scammer Of The Month | Yiiclot
One of my favorite things to do lately is unearthing all those scammer websites from Asia that steal imagery and re-brand them as their own. All for ridiculously low prices of course.
This time the award goes to a website that goes by the name of Yiiclot. They use one of those generic basic websites and list a customer call number that looks to be from the US. However if you dig a little deeper you will see that the products ship from China while you can also spot their shoddy use of English. Not only that, many of the styles that they offer are those hilarious Indian style sandals. I would rather gouge my own eyes with a pitchfork.
Anyways why are they appearing here then? They first appeared on one of my Facebook groups where a very angry poster attacked me over my claims that this was a scam website. I immediately recognized the shoes he posted as Paolo Scafora because…I retail Paolo Scafora.
And then there was another pair from exotic leather that screamed Vass Shoes. Not only that they didn’t even bother to cover the “Vass” logo on the shoe trees. I couldn’t find it on the website while writing this but you get the point.
What I enjoy most about those apocalyptic dingleberries is the descriptions. For example they say the Scafora pair has a rubber sole and is a “Gradient Color Hand Painted Oxford”. For the enticing price of just $49.99 down from $80! What a bargain since the real pairs cost more than $1300.
Needless to say that this is a huge scam and content farming and you should always do your due diligence. For example you can go check each website for fraud alerts such as Scamdoc. In this particular case you find that Yiiclot is a really new domain and linked to often fraudulent cases.
Don’t be naive and understand that when something sounds too good to be true it usually is. If you spot any kind of scammers please send me a mail to [email protected]!
Foster & Son Release A Statement
I already discussed the topic of Foster & Son closing down their factory but until now there was no official response from the company. Thankfully (or not for him) Jesper from Shoegazing received an update which says:
“· Our Jermyn Street store has been open since early June. We are very happy indeed with our talented staff and despite these challenging times, we are continuing to serve our customers as we have for 180 years and we plan to do so for many years to come.
· The actual situation in Northampton is that our Japanese partners have decided to withdraw and the factory is closed while we make alternative arrangements.
· Your suggestion that the departure of some staff should create doubt on the health of our business is unwarranted and completely inaccurate.”
I previously mentioned that everything should be taken with a grain of salt unless we got an official response. However with Gaziano & Girling absorbing some workers and the Foster & Son Instagram selling their RTW samples for crazy prices the assumptions were fairly correct. It is nothing new though for someone to defend their position and qualm fears only for things to reveal their true nature lately. For example Josep Bartomeu (VP of Barcelona FC) said last Monday that he won’t resign, then resigned a day later. Regardless, I truly hope Foster & Son make it!
Zonkey Boot’s New Website
I must admit I never talked much about Zonkey Boot but that’s just because I don’t know much about them. In short Zonkey Boot is a very new brand borne from the former co-owner of Saint Crispin’s and has its base in Austria. They create some very interesting Hand-welted designs for around $900-1000 USD but they are certainly a more acquired taste.
Not familiar with their old website but they did offer a 10% code last week. The website looks rather clean and minimalistic which is great. Zonkey Boot also chose Shopify as their platform and use the paid Prestige Theme. By the way that means is that anyone of you can pay $180 and use the same theme. So if someone else that uses it tries to threaten you for stealing their design don’t worry.
Regardless I would of course like to review Zonkey Boot in the future however I cannot justify such a purchase right now.
Cool Shoe Restoration Channel On YouTube
It amazes me how some people can take a tortured pair of shoes and restore it so well. From new Patinas to extreme shape reforming it shows how fascinating leather is. For the past month I watch Bedo’s Leatherworks on YouTube with some incredible transformations.
While not a new channel by any means, I just found about it. The Shoe Snob recently released an article by coincidence showing an extreme repair of some chewed Alden shoes.
It’s certainly worth your time and I recommend checking them out!
New GMTOs At The Noble Shoe
What excites me the most each month is deciding the new custom unique styles I offer at The Noble Shoe. The Group Made To Orders are a way for you to make something special not publicly available. This month is Split-Toe month and I offer you two styles for all tastes!
- Carlos Santos 9131 Split Toe Derby in Patina: A lovely higher apron split-toe derby on the elegant 401 Last and a Dainite Sole. Available in 20 Patinas and 2 Leathers (Grain or Calf) for $299.99.
- Carlos Santos 9380 Split Toe Field Boots in Patina: A twist on the classic Field Boot with the sharper 445 Last and for the first time a Ridgeway Sole. Also available in 20 Patinas for $329.99.
Both shoes are available for Pre-Order until November 15th with an estimated delivery around February 2021. If you want to take a closer look at the GMTO Process or the Boots make sure to check out my YouTube Video.
Mr. Porter’s Collection of “Luxurious Fall Style Essentials”
As an individual hobby website I have a moral and ethical dilemma. Of course I would like to earn some money after putting hours every week for 2.5 years now. Most blogs these days use affiliate links where you click on a link redirecting to a website and if you purchase something they get commission. It costs you NOTHING extra as a consumer and you only support the content creators. In fact I do it as well even though it is not very successful.
The moral dilemma here is recommending actually good and value oriented products that I would buy. This is one of the reasons you will never see me recommend products on Amazon. What kind of shoes am I going to recommend for you there???
Mr. Porter on the other hand has a strong focus towards designer clothes and products. Not only that but most of them come at a real premium and mark up. There is absolutely no way for me to recommend any designer clothes especially for the full price however this type of luxury lifestyle is important to some. Last month they released a Fall Style Essentials Collection which made me think about this.
In this “Essential” Collection you get a pretty nice Camel Overcoat ($2010), a nice Bomber Jacket ($3350) and some Chelsea Boots ($785). The question here is more about the boots. Would you really spend almost $800 to buy a pair of rebranded Tricker’s for a premium?
Do they actually look elegant to you? Why not spend $200 less and buy a pair of R.M. Williams Boots ($495) that are just as good and better looking? Nothing wrong if you want (and can afford the luxury lifestyle) just be wary of links from most blogs and YouTubers. Some of them include:
- Real Men Real Style
- Alpha M. (Aaron Marino)
- Teaching Men’s Fashion
While some of them can offer you good value and basic introduction to some concepts they are also here to make a $. My advice is only buy established products or those that have actual good independent reviews.
Hot Influencer | A Very Interesting Tool
You probably know how I feel about influencers these days. The amount of messages I get and the generic requests by shirtless men that want to promote my products are shocking. However with my own business reaching a point where working with a public figure is important I found a very interesting tool. The name is Hot Influencer and it helps you track Instagram and YouTube channels. It analyzes the channels using machine learning and patterns and can tell you how many of their followers are real or not.
Did you know that Lionel Messi has almost 170 Million Followers? But did you also know that 53.65% of them are fake? Of course the tool is not entirely accurate but it can give you a very good idea about your favorite channels. And that of course includes footwear. Some very interesting results include:
- Edward Green: 47.02% Fake Followers (Total 105k)
- The Shoe Snob: 44.83% Fake Followers (Total 136k)
- J.FitzPatrick Footwear: 43.62% Fake Followers (Total 102k)
- Meermin Mallorca: 23.95% Fake Followers (Total 125k)
- Carmina Shoemaker: 24.66% Fake Followers (Total 208k)
- Shoegazing Blog: 24.38% Fake Followers (Total 121k)
- Cheaney: 49.87% Fake Followers (Total 38.1k)
- Prada: 47.85% Fake Followers (Total 24.6 Million)
- Gucci: 9.73% Fake Followers (Total 41.5 Million)
- Bespoke Factory: 48.27% Fake Followers (Total 204k)
- Allen Edmonds: 54.34% Fake Followers (Total 108k)
- Gaziano & Girling: 53.54% Fake Followers (Total 130k)
You get the idea. Why don’t you play with the tool and check out some of your favorite brands?
Conclusions For This Month
As you see there is a pretty regular pattern every month. Scammers, a few discounts and Covid related incidents take the cake unfortunately. Then again it is hard enough to have ground-breaking news every month right?
Regardless, this was my take for the Welted News from October 2020. If I missed any news or if you want to let me know about something leave a comment or send me a mail! If you are new and enjoyed this article consider Subscribing to support my efforts! I have some exciting interviews coming up with Winson Shoemaker, Septieme Largeur and Mario Bemer! Be safe.
Thank you for reading,