When we were deciding on signage for the store we settled on black vinyl for the windows. In theory it was a logical choice and was within the scope of the design. Hiroko our Creative Director, Yen our architect and I all looked at mock ups of various sizes on the glass. What we failed to consider was that the black signs we were looking at were against glass that still had construction paper on it so it showed up beautifully.
When Big Apple Visual Group came and installed the signs we instantly realized our error, with the paper removed the signs were practically invisible from the outside because the entire interior of the store is black. Well live and learn I always say, we decided to make a change. We now have gold signs that show up 1000 times better. So now when you’re wondering around lost in the West Village trying to find the corner of Christopher & Gay Street you will be guided by our new signs. Go to the light……………….
This post is about good service and bad service. It has nothing to do with shoes really but I would like to make a point.
Tuesday afternoon my internet service suddenly went out at the store. I tried the usual remedies turning on and off the modem, computer etc but no go. Bad Service No.1 – I called Verizon, and spent 48 minutes speaking to 3 different “tech support” personnel until they finally agreed that I needed a new modem.
Last night at 3:00 AM I was awoken by the sound of rushing water. I checked my bathrooms no water anywhere but there was definitely water pouring down behind the walls. In 10 minutes my bathroom, kitchen, foyer and closets were flooding. Good Service No.1 – After a panicky call to the desk the Super and handyman were quickly on the job shutting off the water and vacuuming it up with a wet vac. I won’t go into the details of how much stuff we had to move in order to stave off damage but we did it.
The modem arrived this morning Bad Service No.2 - I then spent 1 hour and 45 minutes with another “tech genius” who not only couldn’t get me online but also messed up my network settings and told me the problem was not the modem but my router. Bad, bad, bad Verizon. I subsequently got it all together myself somehow.
Good Service No.2 - My Super just called and told me that instead of replacing the patches of wet carpet he is going to replace the carpet in the entire room. He’s a great guy and knows how to keep his tenants happy.
My point of all this is that it just as easy to give good service, as it is to give it badly. It’s no coincidence that the bigger the company (Verizon behemoth) the more difficult they seem to be. Not a very smart business strategy, but I’ve come to expect it of them. On the other hand one on one and personal relationships build trust, loyalty and happy customers, at least in my mind and that’s always been my philosophy. After all it is called a “Service Industry” for a reason. Please feel free to share any of your good or bad service experiences.
Back to shoes tomorrow.
The Robb Report has a very nice full page article about Leffot in the new September issue.
Thank you Robb Report for including us among your “Front Runners”.
Our friend John was kind enough to send me this great picture of him and his beautiful bride Katie taken in the Meatpacking District on their wedding day. They both look absolutely fantastic and very much in love. Congratulations to both of you.
Note the brown Gaziano & Girling Westbury’s John wore for the momentous occasion.
You can view some of our other wedding shoes here.
I would like to extend a very special THANK YOU to Stephen Watson, Men’s Vogue Fashion Director for the wonderful article he wrote about Leffot. You can read it here on Men’s Vogue Daily Blog. Stephen, I truly appreciate your enthusiasm about the store and I look forward to seeing you in the near future.
P.S. – I’m also glad to hear you’re a Weston fan.
Yesterday my wife and I visited the Church’s store, the purpose of the trip was to find her some new shoes for fall. Needless to say she accomplished that task quite successfully and I’ll post the Women’s shoes she bought in the future.
What I was not prepared for was to find a pair of Shannon’s in burgundy Crup (Cordovan). They were the last pair and surprisingly my size. I waffled between the Shannon and the Grafton when I selected the shoes for the store, in the end deciding on the Grafton in black and Sandalwood. I felt the Shannon was to overpowering in Sandalwood and a little to “cop shoe” in black. I think I made the right choice because the Grafton is selling very well in both colors.
Now this Shannon in an antiqued waxy finish appears and I immediately see a place for it (besides on my foot). I really like the coloring and finish, the double leather soles, rolled black leathery laces and the heavy half moon stitching at the bottom of the throat all of which add guts and muscle to this shoe.
Here are a couple of links to cordovan tanneries you might like to visit. Horween Leather Co. in Chicago the last producer of cordovan in the U.S. and Shinki-Hikaku Co. in Japan. Incidentally there is an article about this tannery in “Last” magazine Vol. 11.
During my visit with Xavier Aubercy in March I spied this pair of boots in his shop. They didn’t have my correct size but Xavier kindly offered to produce them for me. They just arrived today and I wanted to share them with you. As with the rest of the Aubercy they are incredibly light and flexible shoes. Customers are often surprised by this the first time they try a pair on.
I haven’t ordered these for the store yet but I am strongly considering it…..
Posted in Aubercy Tagged Aubercy, boots
I should have known better. As I put on a short sleeve shirt this morning my wife told me it was going be cool today (she’s always right, and of course I wore the shirt anyway). Well, after the rain, it dropped into the 60′s. Bizarre that it feels a little like fall. I know it’s a stretch but here goes. Now is actually a good time to begin your fall shopping. “But now in the middle of August?” you ask. “Besides I’m at the beach for the rest of the month.”
Well in fact there is good reason as a couple our customers found out this past weekend. When the time comes that you decide to make the purchase of a pair of shoes you’ve been dreaming about but have been putting off until fall, or the leaves start changing color and it’s time to toss the flip flops nothing can be worse than not being able to do so because someone else has beaten you to it.
Sure Church’s and Weston have in stock programs so we can restock quickly, but all the other manufacturers take 12-20 weeks to produce a pair. So if you miss it now we are happy to order a pair for you but you won’t have it just now, and what’s more gratifying than the rush of walking out of the store with a kick ass pair of shoes that you picked up before someone else?
I know it sounds ridiculous but believe me it will happen to someone and it won’t be fun when it does. If that doesn’t move you much right now I completely understand, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Posted in Lifestyle Tagged fall
In L.A. the corner was Hollywood & Vine , in San Francisco it was Haight-Ashbury, and for some it still is. But in the West Village of Manhattan it’s Christopher & Gay , which is where Leffot sits.
Long after the corner became famous it conveys a sense of awe for an unending flock of tourists and reminds us that, "something special happened here." People from all over the world take pictures of the street signs right outside my windows, and as I watch them snap away all day every day I enjoy seeing their reactions. Some find it serendipitously; others dutifully follow their guidebooks in Italian, Spanish, German, or Chinese. Some giggle and point, while others embrace the pole, and some take shots because others are doing so and they don’t want to miss a photo op.
It’s a beautiful part of Manhattan; if you have never been here I hope you will have the opportunity to do so. I’ll be happy to take your picture under the signs.
J.M.Weston is a very well known and established French company, so when it came time to select the styles for Leffot my focus was on trying to show newer rather than simply classic models. The Conti Line designed by Michel Perry is their new classic look. I’m particularly fond of this penny loafer in burnished burgundy with a slight wing tip. I love the sleek styling, long lines, and color of this loafer, this is a very flattering shoe on the foot.
J.M. Weston Style 436 in Burgundy Vocalou Boxcalf
Also available in Black Boxcalf
I selected this pair of Pierre Corthay Wilfrid’s when I visited Pierre in his shop on rue Volney in March. I told Pierre I wanted to purchase a pair of shoes and he brought me a pair of black something or others, Arca’s I think but I can’t remember since I had no interest in black. I told him that and he came back with these in Olive and Black suede.
But they did not look the way they do today. The green was flat and dull. Pierre told me to leave them with Stephané his colorist and I should pick them up in a few days. I wish I had taken a picture before Stephané went to work on them because the change is astounding. I get a lot of compliments on this pair and I leave them on display in the store from time to time. Customers are drawn to them and are then surprised when they turn them over and see they have been worn. It is just an example of what MTO can be.
I think we would all agree that the purchase a quality pair of shoes is an "investment" in our feet as well as our wardrobe. And like any investment it needs protecting. Thankfully this is not a difficult task. Perhaps the single most important and easiest step we can take is to insert wooden shoetrees into the shoes when they’re removed.
Why? During the day our feet perspire, a natural fact. The trees draw the perspiration away from the leather lining and hold the shoes in place as they dry. If you have ever seen a pair of shoes that are cracked at the "break" there is a good chance it is due to "tree negligence". Left empty the leather contracts while drying. Once the shoes are worn again the leather must expand, over time, as this process repeats the leather begins to breakdown and crack.
It is also important that the trees fit the shoes properly. If the trees are too large the shoes will be stretched out of shape and if too small they will not maximize their intended purpose. We sell trees made by the manufacturers that are "last and size specific". These are the best trees for the shoes because the shoe is put back on its last to regain its shape. If you have your own trees try and find a shape and size that is closest to the last of the shoe. Using similar trees is better than not using trees at all.
Gaziano & Girling