Below, I will give my own highly non scientific view on the Adler Shoes matter. At the end of the post, John H. Adler himself gives his version about the accusations of plagiarism.
Adler Shoes seem to be a cordwainer version of the many already existing web tailors we have seen popping up here and there on the internet over the last years. They claim to deliver premium, custom made shoes at price levels corresponding to off the rack average high quality shoes.
Voices in various style fora claims that Adler Shoes have stolen product images, or parts of shoe designs, from other manufacturers such as Gaziano & Girling, and used them on the Adler Shoes website. We intend to keep an objective, open discussion here at The Drones Club.
As the subject was debated here at The Drones Club, I contacted Adler Shoes and asked them if they were interested in supplying me with a product sample for evaluation. Unsurprisingly, Adler Shoes replied that they get quite a few such requests every week, and that a narrow marketing budget combined with their low price policy, does not give room for such extra costs.
Adler Shoes further explains that their main marketing tool besides ad-words, is word of mouth and re-orders by existing customers which the claim, precludes a level of satisfaction with the shoes and boots they deliver.
I have not experienced any Adler Shoes Products myself, but a few other similar tailor web services. My own theory is that the result to be expected, is likely to be based on the same criteria as the goods delivered from web tailor services?
Web tailors have many different fabrics to choose from, with an almost arbitrarily varying level quality. From very good, to not so very good. Impossible to tell, without ordering fabric samples before placing the actual order. Adler shoes offers a wide range of different last leather sorts in various colours.
The fit on a web tailored garment can be stunning, but is as likely to be far from what you expected, since no fittings are done while the shirt, suit, or shoe is being made. You never try the garment on until you receive the finished product. In the case of web tailored shirts, this sometimes demands numerous orders, before the measurements have been adjusted to satisfaction.
Below, Mr. John H. Adler gives his reply on the accusations that Adler Shoes have stolen designs, and even product images from oter premium shoe manufacturers.
Dear Mr. Mulliner
I had a look at your distinguished forum and noticed even with my none existent Swedish, that someone mentioned that we supposedly took pictures from other sites. All pictures on our site are taken from shoes made for our customers or photo models we made.
We use a professional photo-studio in Germany for all our shotsWe do offer the service that if someone wants a particular shoe made he can send us a picture and we will make it. This is one way for us to add new models to our portfolio. Also, one has to bear in mind, that a brogue is a brogue and an oxford does not leave an awful lot of design possibilities.
Our model ”Brighton” for example was made for a US customer who supplied us a picture after which we produced the shoes. It looks maybe similar to the model in the link your member shows, but when you look at details and proportions you will find a clear difference.
This by the way is another reason why I do not advertise in forums, we are often attacked by other shoe maker who feel threatened by our low prices and they use forums to do so. Our policy is to provide bespoke shoes to a much wider audience who could not afford the usual prices or simply are not willing to pay such large amounts.
John H. Adler