In the first weekend of May I was visiting Stockholm and was able to take part at the trunk show held by Spanish Meermin and Austrian Saint Crispin’s.
At first the idea that these two firms - both pretty much talked about and famous at the moment - from totally different price categories and segments would do a trunk show together may sound a bit strange but on the other hand the difference is also the fact that makes it totally reasonable. These brands are both manufacturers of quality footwear but they are not really competing of the same customers with each other. Plus as they share a long family history, the idea of coming together to Sweden sounds even more natural.
For Meermin this was the first trunk show they’ve ever had but also first time for Saint Crispin’s in Sweden. Will come up a more detailed review regardin Saint Crispin’s in the near future.
Meermin is a family owned shoe company based in Mallorca. A family that has a long history being involved in the shoemaking business. The grandfather of Pepe Albaladejo (who runs Meermin today with his father and uncle) started several years ago the shoe company called Yanko (some of you may be familiar with that). from the ashes of Yanko Pepe’s father José & his brother Sandro founded Meermin and the rest of members of the Albaladejo family founded Carmina.
Even though Meermin is based in Spain the firm has manufacturing facilities in China - a fact they don’t try to hide and a fact which gives them the opportunity to offer high quality shoes with a relatively reasonable, some could say cheap prices. Even the most of the work is done in China, they still do some of the work regarding the shoes, for example all the finishing is made by themselves in the factory in Inca, Mallorca. They also use so much time as possible to visit their factory in China to keep up the quality control and training their staff so that they can maintain the standard they require.
Even though Meermin has in the past worked in the wholesale market especially in Japan, it nowdays does not have any retailers. Instead they’ve now chosen to focus on “in-house” sales. In addition to the web shop they do have their own shop in Madrid and one shop in Tokyo.
At the moment Meermin offers shoes in two different lines / categories, a classic line (machine goodyear welted shoes, GY-1) and Linea Maestro (entirely hand-welted, GY-2) with slightly finer materials and finishing. The prices for classic line shoes are around 150-160 euros and for the Linea Maestro line shoes 260 euros. In addition they offer pairs made with Norwegese construction and pairs made of shell cordovan leather. Prices for these varies between 320 and 360 euros. For their shoes Meermin uses many of the best leathers, producers and tanneries around Europe such as Freudenberg calf from Weinheimer Leder Tannery in Germany, Naturcalf from Anonnay Tannery in France and Januscalf Suede from C.F. Stead tannery in England.
Meermin also offers so called MTO service where you can choose the model, soles, leather for uppers, details, basically even design your own shoes. For basic MTO-orders (made for the normal lasts that Meermin uses) the additional cost is 150 euros. All the MTO pairs are made to the Linea Maestro standards.
They do not offer shoes for men only but do also have a line for women (not yet available on the web store). There were some really nice boots (and other models as well) I could imagine my girlfriend would be happy to use.
I personally have no experience of Meermin in the use yet. During the trunk show weekend I actually had to go back on the spot for another visit on Saturday cause I had no time to make an order in the first place but in the end I couldn’t miss the opportunity
I picked the MTO-option and ended up with pretty basic penny loafer (without a split toe in contrast with the model available at the website), which actually Meermin does not have at their selection yet. But after a chat with Pepe he told me he knows what I want, took his phone and showed a picture from his phone saying they are just developing a model like that with the Ron last. I wanted single leather soles (as those are going to be used only in summer time), purple lining and for the leather picked the suede you can see below.
There were also “rumours” that Meermin will go back to Sweden later in the fall with more shoes and even possibly giving the customers a chance to make purchases on the spot.
Pepe also said that he has been getting many enquiries from Finland so hopefully we will at some point have them visit at Helsinki as well. I’m Looking forward to that!