Ed Et Al – Singaporean Shoemakers On The Rise
For a long time now, I have been hearing this name Ed Et Al, whether by chance or by blog readers writing me up to check them out. I figured that since I had more than one reader do so (which shows loyalty, and can only mean good things), I had better look them up and find out more. Now, in doing so, I discovered that they make a nice shoe for a very low price. This made me curious as it almost seemed too good to be true. Therefore, as I like to know exactly what I am representing on my blog, I decided to get a pair so that I could see what all of the hype was about and whether or not it was justified. Needless to say, the second I went on the website, I saw a model (the Amoy Quee – pictured above) that made me jealous that I did not design it!! I decided that I was going to have to have it, as it is the exact loafer that I have always wanted (style-wise). And if I wasn’t starting my own shoe, I would have it commissioned in every color of leather possible!
For those that don’t know, allow me to give a little bit of background info on people that make up Ed Et Al. First and foremost, there is Mr. Edwin Neo (above rocking the Amoy Quee), who is the head shoemaker, designer and founder of the brand. It was Mr. Neo, who used to work as a shoe cobbler one day realized that there were no real options in Singapore for a decent pair of goodyear welted shoes. While hammering away on some heels, he decided then to go do something about it and make a brand of his own, with skilled workers, that could create shoes that would fill the gap in Singapore. His first step, was not dissimilar to mine, in which moved to Europe (Hungary to be precise) and started to learn the art of handmade shoemaking. After his skills were proficient, he went back to Singapore and rounded up a bunch of skilled workers (many of whom had shoemaking education in Europe or Japan) in order to create his own factory and get to work on building a successful dress shoe brand based in Singapore. And this he did…..
|A straight stitching on the heel is always a good sign….as many makers get this wrong and crooked!|
So, why do they only cost S$280 = US$220 = £140 = 165 for a goodyear welted shoe? Well, unlike the States and the UK, wages are a bit lower in the rest of the world, and allow for a more economical cost of production, which ensures a lower retail price to the customer. Does this mean that they are inferior? NO it does not! Granted, I would not lie and say that is in my opinion they are just as good as a Carmina or Crockett & Jones (as far as all round quality – leather grade/attention to detail), as the leather grade is not quite as high, but I will say that at £140, they are DEFINITELY the best bang for your buck that I have ever come across! And it’s not that Mr. Neo, is thinking that he is coming in to try and stand against the Green’s, the Lobb’s, the C&J’s etc. More so, his philosophy is to make great shoes at a great price, using materials that will will provide comfort and durability, to be able to not only provide for his Singaporean population, but to the rest of people in the world that appreciate fine footwear. And I tell you, that he has done a good job at this, as I found the shoes to be every bit worth their retail price, and even more so, and I would rate them at a much better make when compared to the likes of the £200-£250 shoes you find here in England.
So, not only do Ed Et Al offer a complete RTW collection, but also provide an MTO and Bespoke service to complement. Their MTO prices range from S$600 (£300/US$490), that allow the customer to “order a pair of brown balmoral boots, suedetop, pigskin lining, fiddleback soles, beveled waists, additional Vibram sole protectors, Vibram rubbertop lifts, antiqued finish on a chiseled toe last in a size 6F.” Now that is what I call a great deal at £300! Bespoke prices start S$2500 which includes an initial cost of S$1000 for your last (made in correlation with Springline) and your lasted shoetrees. Subsequent pairs do not bare this cost further. Therefore, for full on bespoke, you get it for a whopping S$1500/£750/US$1180. This is hard to imagine, and I will one day give it a shot, as £750 is a lot easier to justify than £2500 when you are on a relative budget! Nevertheless, the picture below, labeled bespoke, looks to me like the business and therefore even more intriguing……
So, I have finally given my two cents on up-and-coming brand Ed Et Al, and just to make it clear, HERE IS MY STAMP OF APPROVAL!!!
|Exquisite butterfly MTO loafer commissioned by Stephen at Simply Refined|