Pre-Order Status / ETA?
At present, we’re actively working with 3 shoemakers–one for oxfords (the majority of our collection), one for women’s flats (like the Artemis), one for a secret project (coming soon). We’re also evaluating another 2, in case any of the active ones don’t work out.
For background – during 2022, our original oxfords shoemaker took on a big client to get them out of financial troubles. This big client has taken over all their production capacity. As a result, we’ve been mostly out of stock, unable to push forward development on many products, and really late on delivering the much-anticipated Ares Derby Boot.
We had a new shoemaker selected last year, but they made too many mistakes, so we decided not to go into production with them. This is why all our ship dates got pushed to June. Since we’re still evaluating other shoemakers, we had another one lined up quickly.
This is very fortunate, because the old shoemaker is increasingly difficult to work with, timing-wise. Although they historically were amazing partners for many years, they had a lot of red flags this time around:
- We gave them a big order early 2022.
- By mid 2022, they said it was impossible to make that many. So we gave them a smaller revised order. They said it would be done in October 2022.
- They finally finished it last week.
This order broke 2 records: the lowest defect rate, but the latest delivery time. With this final order complete, we’re transferring all production equipment to the new shoemaker. We’re still on friendly terms with the old shoemaker, and they’ve been helpful with training the new shoemaker.
The reason we gave the old shoemaker a shot is because they’ve been good partners for so long – we felt like it was the right thing to do to give them a chance when they were struggling. It didn’t work out, but we still felt they deserved a shot to make things right.
On top of these specific issues, you should be aware of at least 3 macroeconomic trends slowing everything down.
- First, a lot of shoemakers in Mexico went bankrupt during the pandemic. The ones that survived are either flooded with orders, struggling with finances, or both (like our old oxford shoemaker).
- Second, there continues to be a labor shortage throughout the whole industry.
- Third, with the US-China trade war continuing to heat up, many businesses leaving China are choosing Mexico, which means we're competing with more clients for production capacity.
In addition to all of this, we have a very rigorous process for selecting factory partners. It’s more thorough than most. A factory is one of our most important factors in determining quality, and this isn’t a step we’re eager to speed up if it increases our risk of delivering low quality shoes to you.
Inventory is tight, but if you’d like something sooner, we can let you know what we have in stock for your size.
Sorry again for the delays. I know it sucks. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support.