Tomorrow, Saturday, the Spanish brand Carmina will launch a new online service for Made to Order, which in an easy way let’s you see what options are available and put together your own model variant. In addition the MTO premium of 30% is waived this weekend during the launch, so a good opportunity to strike if you’ve been eyeing something that’s not included in the standard range.
Carmina has for many years offered a MTO service through their dealers and in their own stores, and when they quite recently launched a new website they also introduced so-called group-MTO’s in the same way that for example Meermin has, where specific models are up for order for a limited period and only if a sufficient number of orders are placed the shoes are produced. As for ordinary MTOs Carmina has always been a bit complicated since a model in most cases are limited to a certain number of lasts, and vice versa, which made it a bit difficult to grasp. You basically had to be at a local retailer to get a clear overview of the possibilities. With the new Customisation Service on the website easier to track of all the choices available, and they are many. Over 80 different base models and more than 100 different leather options, and then many different lasts, sole types, medallions and other various options. There’s not really anything new to the opportunities compared to what they previously had with MTO from retailers and their shops, the main news is the digital packaging.
And this is admirably well done, I have to say. You start with choosing the base model, as mentioned some 80 such exists, ranging from high boots to lightweight loafers. Then you come to a step-by-step process where you in around ten pages set the specifications of the shoe. One can easily jump back and forth between pages, if you want to try different things or regret something, and to the right there’s an overview where the price of the order is constantly updated according to the choices made. First you select uppers materials, and it is possible to select different types of leather for the different parts of the shoes. I had the opportunity to try the service in advance, and then made a chukka with five eyelets, the model 905. Here I could choose one leather type on the front of the shoe, another on the back, if I’d wanted. If you make for example a full brogue or austerity brogue you can easily put together your own version of the spectator. Obviously there are many different calf leathers, both smooth, grain and suede, as well as a large selection of cordovan from the Chicago based tannery Horween, soft goatskin and exotic leather like alligator, cayman or lizard. Also there’s various options of lining leather.
It then continues with the choice of last and sole. As mentioned, you can’t make all models on all lasts, but it’s only those that are available for the model chosen that show up as an option, so it’s easy in this step to ensure which last options you have. The lasts have a top overview on the page, but on Carmina’s website there’s also a more detailed guide to their different lasts where you can read more about how the fit is on them, and so on. Several lasts are also available in different lengths, sometimes both extra narrow and extra wide. Carmina offers several sole options like the standard leather sole and Dainite-rubber sole, plus the rubber variants York, Tomir and Commando, and also oak bark tanned Rendenbach leather soles. You can choose single or double sole and if you like storm welt, and also sole edge colour, type of medallion if you want it, where there are a few to choose from, plus different types of eyelets and buckles (depending on model choice) are offered and shoe laces. Finally, they also have a novelty compared to the MTO service through retailers, that one can also choose whether to have the initials in brass pegs on the waist and / or your name written on the lining. Then you come to a summary page where you can get an overview of the choices you’ve made, and what the price will be. Are you happy you put it in the shopping basket, place your order and then wait about three months to get the shoes delivered.
The service is launched tomorrow when Carmina is participating in the StyleForum event The Proper Kit in New York. The regular premium for the online Customisation Service is 30% on the standard price, but during the launch weekend so they waive the MTO fee so the shoes are therefore priced like regular RTW. At the moment the price for Carmina MTO through retailers are 50% extra, and I don’t know for sure but it would be a logical way if the price will go down to 30% upcharge here as well.
It’s often easier to make a MTO order when you get the options offered introduced for yourself in a clear way, and Carmina has succeeded with this, which combined with the lower price premium is likely to generate a rise in the MTO orders through the company.