Let the Meermin MTO Adventure Begin
By now, many of you have heard about Meermin and their value proposition. They provide goodyear welted shoes at a fantastic price using excellent lasts, and leathers from some of the best tanneries in Europe (From their site: Tannerie D´Annonay (France), Les tanneries Du Puy (France), Charles. F. Stead (England), Weinheimer Leder (Germany) or Thomas Ware & Sons (England)). By cutting costs in the manufacturing process and eliminating the dealer fees that lower margins for many brands, Meermin has been able to create a great ratio of quality to price. They provide RTW options on their online store that come in around US$200, and judging by their photos and descriptions, they appear to be on par with many manufacturers selling shoes for close to double the price. Since hearing about this brand when they still had a nascent presence online and learning of their connection to another venerable Spanish shoe company, I have been itching to give them a try. Well, after getting in touch with the proprietor, Pepe Albaladejo, a extremely friendly, kind, and helpful person, I have finally taken the plunge.
What makes Meermin really special is their infinitely customizable made to order program. If you check out their tumblr, you can see the range of options they have available, and this is what I wanted to take advantage of. Anyone can make wingtips or black captoes, but getting something a little crazy seemed like a good chance to get a feel for their quality and see how the company can handle a unique request. I also wanted to provide you all with a look into the stages of development, as made to order can be a little daunting. Pepe has kindly agreed to send me updates and/or photos when possible (they are very busy, which is excellent), and I will try and post these over the next 12-14 weeks, which is the timeline for any pair of custom Meermins. I am very excited to witness the process and see the final product, and hopefully it will provide many of you with some small inspiration to try and make a pair for yourselves.