Saint Crispins Shoe Review – A Visit with Zach Jobe

Saint Crispins Shoe Review – A Visit with Zach Jobe

Hi, I’m Kirby Allison. Here at The Hanger
Project we love to help the well-dressed take care of their wardrobes. Today I’m
here in New York with Zachary Jobe, principal of the Saint Crispin’s of the
Americas, and we’re gonna be talking about Saint Crispin’s and shoes. Zach thank
you. Thanks for having me. Thanks for coming all the way to
New York. You know it’s always a pleasure to be in New York. You know I
just really enjoy being here. So you’ve got this beautiful showroom that’s right
here off of West 57th Street and you know you’re doing some pretty
incredible things with Saint Chrispins of the Americas. For someone that’s not
familiar with the brand you know puts Saint Chrispins in context of kind of how they’re
different. Sure. So Saint Crispin’s
started in the early 1980s and quite frankly were pattern makers for other
shoe makers for a brief time and then slowly moved into bespoke shoe making
for discerning gentlemen based mainly in Europe given that was a very small
company. The company started doing business under the name Saint Crispin’s in
1992, and it’s very very slowly but surely grown and evolved since then and
is now I don’t want to say mid market but we exist in a space that’s a little
bit different from most shoemakers. Most shoemakers are known either as Benchmade
or bespoke. Given our history in our frankly our technique etc etc we make to
a bespoke level of quality and a bespoke standard. We aren’t strictly
bespoke. We certainly do produce ready-to-wear shoes made to order, made
to measure which is a little bit different but all using the same bespoke
level of materials, the same bespoke techniques, the same quality of make that
you would generally find in a much more expensive shoe. You know we’re quite
small. They have a workshop of about 25 to 30 craftsmen at any given time and
you know four to five back office staff. We make about 1,500 pairs of shoes a
year so our production is very artisanal. It’s completely by hand from the ground up.
There are some machines involved as any shoemaker would
have to, but nothing is mechanized in the sense that the shoe
doesn’t get put through a machine and just come out. Our offer is again
bit different from a lot of shoemakers because we offer the ability to
customize your shoe not just in design, material, details, et. We can also
customize the fit without having to go through the entire frankly
time-consuming and incredibly expensive traditional bespoke process. So we
actually we can modify existing last and small places, and then we can also like a
bespoke maker create new last and we can turn new last for new clients but to be
honest with you 99% of people don’t need bespoke. They don’t need a lot of
customization. The simpler you keep it the better for both the client and the
the artist and the producer. That being said we offer all things to everyone
which is a little bit unique. Talk a little bit about that and how that’s
different than you know a you know say a made-to-order program. You know say it
like from Gaziano where you’re able to make some small adjustments versus like
a complete bespoke process as you would get with like a John Wathan London. What
we do with the personalized last is we’re able to use a few key measurements
to really redefine the shape and the volume of the shoe and keep portions of
the foot. It’s not true bespoke in the sense that we are making minute tiny
little adjustments and you know on the inside of the arch you know like things
like that, but we can reshape arches. We can customize that sort of thing but
really what it is is looking at the foot sort of through the fit in the forefoot,
the arch ,the instep, and the heel. It’s not as complicated as
people might think it is, but at the same time we’re able to use you know a few
simple things to refine that last. We still focus on the artisanal
craftsmanship. Every pair of shoes that we make is made by hand from start to
finish but we’re hand welted meaning someone actually sews the welt to hold
fast by hand, and then the sole is stitched to the welt. Like all of those
those sort of handmade processes allow us to create the structure in the shoe,
to create these structural integrity in the shoe, allow us to shape the fit. You
know those the all those tiny little details we can only do by hand. That really can’t be done by machine. Traditionally that is something
you’d only find in a bespoke shoe… Correct. Well traditionally it’s something
you would find that every shoe. In modern history and not to be pedantic but in
modern history yeah hand welting is something you would only find in a
bespoke product. And so the hand welting I mean you know I mean aside from you know
being kind of an element of craftsmanship you know and handwork you
know how does that translate into an actual better shoe. Well again being able
to create all of this structure and different fitting you know
accommodations that sort of thing in the shoe is something we can only do if
we’re hand welting but hand welting itself is ideal as a shoe making
technique for durability and longevity because blank stitching you know
this sole was stitched to the shoe. It doesn’t really lend itself to resoling
over time. It can be done. Not ideal, you need a special machine etc.
Goodyear welting is better but the Goodyear welt is still glued to the
upper and then the sole is stitched to the welt. Better than Blake in most cases
not always, but then you get to hand welting. With hand welting we can
replace the welt. You know add basically fix the shoe at infinitum bar
for a few…. if she gets cut in half and things like
that but it really lends itself to durability and maintenance overtime. Talk
to me a little bit about how much does that cost, what does that process look
like, you know how does that affect the cost
of the shoe afterwards. I mean the way it starts is obviously with the personal
fitting and a consultation. We evaluate the person’s foot, there were
particular fit preferences, etc etc. Their lifestyle, you know are they a lawyer on
their feet in court all day? Are they a doctor on their feet in the in the
operating room all day? Do they sit behind a desk all day? Are they retired? You know
that sort of thing. Once we get through that process you
know we take it through a sort of tracing of the foot. We do
the measurements etc, and then we develop what’s called a trial shoe. It’s a
fitting shoe. So we make the last and then we actually create a fitting shoe
out of scrap leather just to reflect what the last is going to sort of
result in a final shoe. And generally speaking we charge 625 for that and
prices vary depending on time of year and exchange rates and all that sort of
thing but generally speaking it’s around there. That includes the creation of the
last and the fitting shoe itself. Now from there you have to pay for the shoe.
So generally speaking your first shoe is in the 21 to 22 hundred dollar range but
once we go through the process and we get the fitting done and we you know we
produced the final shoes thereafter the client doesn’t pay to use that last
again. So it’s a little bit different from bespoke where you’re
paying a bespoke price every time you order a pair of shoes. In the sense that
your first pair is a little bit more expensive but thereafter you’re
just paying basically an MTO price for the shoe itself. You know talk to me a
little bit about you know kind of why someone would seek you out. I guess you
get the customer that’s seeking about for fit . Maybe you’ve got the customer
that’s seeking because they’re really kind of romanced
and interested in the craftsmanship, but you also have a customer that just
really wants cool shoes. Yeah I mean I think you covered the basic the entire
range of our clientele. Yeah it ranges from everyone who frankly
just can’t find a shoe that fits them to people who are shoe collectors. You know
people who want lime-green alligator loafers, and then there’s there’s sort of
the the middle range of people who appreciate craftsmanship and durability
and the value of investing in a shoe that will last them quite a long time at
the same time providing them with with fit and you know comfort long-term. You
know the youngest client I think we’ve ever had here is was a high school
student and they just needed the shoes for prom.
The oldest client I think we’ve ever had is in his 90s who frankly doesn’t walk
very much but appreciates craftsmanship and his issue collector. You know yeah
it’s really a pretty diverse group of clientele. It’s not necessarily just
you know wealthy bankers, and lawyers, and doctors, and that sort of thing. It’s
really is a pretty interesting cross-section of at least on this side
of the world American society. I know that you travel quite extensively
and you know in addition to you know the approach towards shoemaking being quite
unique I really think that your approach towards the customer relationship and
experience is quite unique. Can you talk about that a little bit. It’s important
for us. You know we’re a small company and we live and die by our
ability to make our clients happy. Part of that particularly in the U.S.
given that it’s such a big just geographic area and we don’t have a huge
retail presence on this side of the world. It’s important for us to get out
in front of clients so people see the product. It’s not really a product that
especially for someone who needs fitting services it’s not something we can
necessarily do very well by email you know etc etc. So it’s important to us to
get out and actually you know interact with clients personally and see clients.
You know not everyone gets to come to New York. Not everyone gets to go to
Honolulu where we have a retailer or New York where we have a retailer
where we are. So yeah it’s important for us to get out and actually see the
clients and be able to manage that process from start to finish. And so for
a fraction of the cost of a bespoke shoe I mean somewhat for all intents and
purposes is really receiving the bespoke experience that one would get you know
not just in you know the kind the ability to customize and really have
anything made you know to really kind of personalize and customize to fit but
also just in their their client relationship with you. Yeah, I think
that’s that’s a fair statement and you know ideally that’s that’s how it should
be in this world. When you go see a tailor you know in Italy, or Japan, or
England or wherever it may be, Chicago wherever it may be. You know you want
to deal with the artist and the person and you know granted I am NOT a
shoemaker. I’m not the artisan. We have talented people who make the shoes, but
people want to have that relationship with someone from the
company or one of our great retailers you know etc etc. So building those
personal relationships for us is just as important as the product that’s on people’s
feet. So how does someone get in touch with you. There’s lots of ways. So we’ve
got social media presence, Instagram, Facebook. The company overall has a
Twitter account. People can always find us online at or Email [email protected] or [email protected] People can always call us, 212-804-8255. But yeah we’re we’re frankly fairly accessible and easy
to get ahold of. We do publish our trunk show schedules around the world frankly.
No matter where you are. They’re all on the website and then
obviously we send emails and mailers and that sort of thing about trunk show
dates and published information on social media. Wow Zach! Well thank you so
much for sharing your passion with us. I mean as you know have a personal fan of
Saint Crispin’s. I’ve got a few pairs myself. You know we’ve used them in the
shoe shine tutorials and you know thanks for
I’m sharing all that so. My pleasure. Thanks for coming all the way out here.
All right. Thank you!

33 Replies to “Saint Crispins Shoe Review – A Visit with Zach Jobe”

  1. Saint crispin is probably the maker that is as close to the Jan Kielman firm that i refered to some time ago! If you ever visit Poland, Id love to see a visit to the polish bespoke shoemaker who's been making bespoke shoes since 1883! Cheers for the great content you keep producing continuesly!

  2. How would you say the quality of saint crispins compares to say George cleverly, and also Allen Edmonds, just based off of materials alone?

  3. The guy is confused about being elegant vs. Condescending. Too much etc etc in his speech. Compare how he is sitting to how Kirby is.

  4. кто-нибудь из русских смотрит этот прекрасный канал?)

  5. Wait, in what way is the welt on a GYW shoe "glued" onto the upper? Every GYW shoe I've seen, the welt is stitched to the upper.

  6. Another great interview thanks you for the video. I have question though with today's technology have you come across any custome shoe maker who has tried using 3d printers to make their Lasts?.

  7. Kirby, which Saint Crispins shoe would you recommend as someone's first foray into the brand if they already have all of the essential shoes covered in their collection.

  8. This guy looks like a dbag with his no socks. Annoying. Especially since it's center frame and the main thing you see….Gross.

  9. Kirby, I wanted to say thank you for making these videos. I’ve always been interested in presenting myself in the best light possible, particularly at work, but how to dress well has never come to me naturally. Videos like yours have done a lot to help. As a result I’ve seen additional opportunities at work, I get complimented regularly, and I have an enhanced level of confidence. Because of that I want to offer sincere thanks. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  10. Interesting, but like others, not a fan of sockless…looks awful and surely less comfortable. Hope he was wearing underpants!

  11. kirby,I just wonder that is its ok to use saphir pate de luxe on my whole penny loafer.Will its make my shoe crack?

  12. I’d love to see a video on English Style and some of the English tailoring houses on Savile Row. Also perhaps include shirtmakers like Budd or Turnbull and Asser. Thanks.

  13. You can only get away with no socks when casual.. No tie, Sport coat.. Not a complete matching suit.. This looks rediculous.

  14. Hi, your video has been copied by a scammer here:
    Please report your copyright infringement so we can get this channel taken down!

  15. Looks like you took a random slob from buffalo wings and stuffed him into expensive clothes. The no socks style seems so forced and pretentious on him. Gross having to see his bare fat ankle the whole video.

  16. Looks like a pigs trotter hanging there … No Sir, that is not an elegant look … And if it was, you are not pulling it off .. Put a sock on ..

  17. Yuk, that man needs to be wearing socks. If you are overweight and half cottage cheese legs and ankles cover them. Be polite of others, be a gentleman

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