Today the Chinese brand Yearn Shoemaker launched a new website aimed on the international market. Their very fine fully handmade shoes at prices starting from €340 now take a huge leap in accessibility, which now can be bought with about a weeks delivery time all over the world.
We’ve started seeing a bit of this, but I believe much more is to come. Asian makers like Bridlen, Cnes, Jim & Jun etc who make English language web stores aimed at the international market, with proper service of shipping, possibilities of exchanges and returns and so on. It’s highly logical, many areas of business ship huge amounts of products from China and other Asian countries direct to international customers, no reason not to see it with shoes. I just hope that more of all the great Japanese brands and stores that exist will start to work in a similar way, especially now when we have a free trade agreement between EU and Japan.
Yearn Shoemaker has been around for a few years in China, under the name Slimshoes. They are unlike many other Chinese makers based in Chengdu, where they have a workshop with 10 employees, led by Jie Zeng who has worked in the shoe business for 25 years. They have a pretty big Slimshoes store in Chengdu, and have a great reputation among classic shoe enthusiasts in China. Last year they introduced the brand name Yearn for the international market, showcasing and selling their goodies through their Instagram account. Now, they go full out with a proper webshop.
Yearn Shoemaker make shoes that are hand lasted, hand welted with fully handmade sole stitching. They use upper leathers from European tanneries like Annonay, Bonaudo, Weinheimer etc. The shoes looks really well-made for the price, only thing I’d wish for are the tapered heels to be cut closer in some cases. It’s no doubt that for the price of €340 / $400 they have both impressive specs and impressive looks. They have a lot in stock now in two different widths, to be delivered within 7-10 days, and in the case they need to made one can contact them and it will be done within a few weeks. They also offer various types of MTO, also to higher specs with for example real leather stiffeners at both toe and heel, higher sole stitch spi with handmade fudging, etc. Price for shipping with FedEx to most countries is at $60, and as always potential duties etc are to be covered by the customer. For example for US people there will be no extra costs, which certainly means a lot of bang for the buck.