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F1refighter

Visit to Ed et al in Singapore

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Gentlemen, I just came back from a wonderful visit to Edwin's awesome Ed et al. showroom at Jalan Kilang, Singapore and can't wait to share with you some of the photos that I have taken from my visit to his showroom.

 

Unfortunately I didn't bring my digital camera with me to Singapore, so I used my cellphone thinking it would be 'okay' but as it turns out, my camera is unable to capture the proper colour and detail of the shoes. (Which is also why you will not see me posting any detail shots for some really kick-ass custom/bespoke shoes that he has made for his customers - I didn't want the poor quality of the photographs to take away from how beautifully crafted the shoes are)

 

Here's Edwin at his showroom cum mini-workshop and office on Jalan Kilang. He actually greeted me in a very nice looking single-breasted navy odd jacket made by Kevin Seah (whose place is right next to Edwin's and they both chums!) but later changed into this linen jacket made with Iris Tailor, which I also like a lot. I'll wait for Edwin to show off his navy jacket next time. ;)

 

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Shot at 2012-03-13

 

Here is his little 'workspace' where he would do some finishing work and detailing on the shoes for his custom and bespoke customers. The majority of the work involved in shoe-making is made in a much larger workshop elsewhere.

 

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Shot at 2012-03-13

 

And being such a generous gentleman he is, he opened a bottle of 21-year-old Courvoisier Cognac which was launched earlier this year. IIRC, he mentioned that you probably won't be able to find this in airport shops or elsewhere yet but if one's really a big fan of cognac and want to give this a try, arrangements can be made. Or you can do what I did and visit him at his showroom to 'pau' a glass or two. ;)

 

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Shot at 2012-03-13

 

One interesting thing about the cognac is that it's actually dated and 'timed' meaning one would actually know how many years these has sit in a cask unlike the usual selection of cognacs where XO and VSOP only represent a certain set period of years it has sat in the cask and not timed by year. Here's a detailed shot of the front of the bottle:

 

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Shot at 2012-03-13

 

The visit lasted for about two hours and we had a long chat on politics, shoe-making, bespoke suit-making (with Kevin) and a whole lot of other stuff. Edwin not only showed me some of his more interesting (and definitely unique) creations but also the latest line of shoes that will be introduced to his RTW line SOON. Since things are still under-wraps and not announced yet, I will not give anything away. One thing is for sure, them are some really beautiful shoes and I'm sure you folks would appreciate them.

 

He has also kindly offered his professional advice on what sort of shoe design my next purchase should be, taking into accounts of my usual wardrobe, my expectations, occupation and personal preferences. In the end, we came to the conclusion that the next shoe for me to get is a dark brown oxford captoe as it would be 'most versatile' to dress up or down, especially in the conservative environment that I work in.

 

I will most likely drop by Front Row, his retail space at Raffle's Shopping Arcade tomorrow and risk blowing my wallet wide open again. But apparently they are running low on the 'popular sizes'.

 

Just want to share with all of you some of my thoughts on his shoes after finally being able to hold them in my hands. Granted I may not know anything at all about high quality custom or bespoke shoes, so I'm only sharing this from my own perspective and how I look at these things.

 

In my opinion, you have to see his shoes for yourself and hold it in your own hands, aside from looking at the detail photos online, to be able appreciate the level of attention to detail put in by him and his team. His shoes are also very competitively priced (only SGD$250 for a pair of RTW! SGD$600 for custom made-to-order and finally, for the big timers, SGD$1500 for the bespoke service). I believe the quality of the shoes are comparable (if not better), than shoes that are much higher priced than his shoes.

 

I've also checked out his RTW shoes made in the 'old last' and compared them to shoes made in the new last. I personally prefer the older last as I find round toes more attractive than the heavily chiseled and angular shoes made using the new last. I think it's a matter of personal preference here. I wouldn't call the older last 'blobby' but that seems to be the common perception judging from online photos and comments.

 

One thing I really admired about Edwin's work is his passion and pride in pursuing his vision in shoe-making, and at the same time keeping in check with the realities of this business. He also takes into consideration of customer's expectations, especially with regards to choices, price level of the shoes and again the little details that makes his shoes stand out from the rest.

 

We also discussed some future opportunities that we may be able to explore such as bringing them over to KL for a trunk show of sorts. Let's just put this question out and see if any of you would be interested to take part and pay them a visit if they did decide to come over and setup a trunk show in KL?

 

That's pretty much all I remember for now (damn, I wish I also brought my notepad to take down some notes but ah well, was too caught up with the cognac. teehee...) Am gonna sleep early to prepare for the next day now. Also, I may very likely meet up with him again on Friday evening for something that I'm not sure if I should mention here yet.... Jeng jeng jeng!

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Edwin told me that if we can get around 20-30 people interested or 5 or so orders for his custom & bespoke shoes, it would help him and his team to cover their costs of the trunk show.

 

I'm sure there are at least 5 of you willing to splurge on them beautiful shoes ;)

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Edwin, if you're looking for a venue for a trunk show, I know the place.

 

 

would it be at one of those small quirky establishments just off heritage row?

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I do find Heritage Row a bit off nowadays, i must confess not being there for "clubbin" in recent times. I think Changkat has better ambiance and places overall. But parking is a pain though

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Most of the sizes at the Front Row outlet are sold out and that's from the older stocks of shoes made from the old last. Apparently they've been selling it for only about 3 months and most of the popular sizes are already sold out, now leaving only odd sizes.

 

In fact, I grabbed the VERY LAST pair of size 45 shoes from their stock, which is a black double monk. Perhaps you can try your luck there if you have feet that's larger or smaller than mine?

 

As promised, here are the pics:

 

 

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Shot at 2012-03-15

 

 

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Shot at 2012-03-15

 

 

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Shot at 2012-03-15

 

 

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Shot at 2012-03-15

 

 

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Shot at 2012-03-15

 

And finally, a blurry of shot of it paired with my navy AL:

 

 

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Shot at 2012-03-15

 

And one when worn with my chinos:

 

 

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Shot at 2012-03-15

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I think their old last would have fit me well since I have wide feet. You can see how capacious the toe box is. Some of these modern English shoes I have are just too narrow.

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I think their old last would have fit me well since I have wide feet. You can see how capacious the toe box is. Some of these modern English shoes I have are just too narrow.

 

Yeah, about that. I have wide feet too.

 

However, I find that for my shoes, it's long enough and slightly snug at the top and the back of the shoes are a bit 'sharp' as well. So, according to the sales staff, there is a bit of a 'break-in' period and may take 4-5 wears to soften things up.

 

After taking 3 weeks to break in my Red Wing boots, facing slight difficulties (and blisters) for 5 wears isn't too bad. Hehe....

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I'm absolutely loving this last shape. Wish Edwin would reply my email re: sizing and tell me that they do a size 42.5.

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Thank you very much KC for the positive write-up! I hope you had enjoyed your visit as much as we had. The issue with the back of the heel causing discomfort should subside as the outsole breaks in. What usually happens before the sole becomes flexible enough is that there will be a bit of slippage at the back counter which causes the discomfort.

 

Regarding the old lasts, they somehow do not present well in photographs from certain angles. We've had multiple feedback that it looks much better in person.

 

We are also happy to announce (The Kerbau is the first forum to know!) that we are going to reproduce some of our best selling models from our first collection in the new lasts. These models, namely The Shenton, The Raffles, and The Merlion, together with 8 brand new designs will form our new collection, slated for launch at Front Row, May 4th 2012.

 

As we flounder in our first year of existence, we are very appreciative of the support shown to us. We take into account all positive and negative comments as we try to better our designs, constructions and operations. Please excuse us if emails sometimes goes unanswered; we do not mean to ignore anyone! Please give us the benefit of the doubt and email us again; we are a very small operation and things do get overlooked, but definitely not intentionally!

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I'm absolutely loving this last shape. Wish Edwin would reply my email re: sizing and tell me that they do a size 42.5.

 

Dear "6", unfortunately we do not do half sizes as the standard we use, the Euro standard, is relatively small in its graduations. We do apologize for having left your emails unanswered!

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