In the first weekend of May I was visiting Stockholm. During my visit I 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 from totally different price categories and segments would do a trunk show together may sound a bit strange. 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 do not really compete of the same customers. Plus as they share a long family history, the idea of coming to Sweden together sounds even more reasonable. For Meermin this was the first trunk show they've ever had. For Saint Crispin's it was the first time in Sweden.
Short history of MeerminMeermin is a family owned shoe company based in Mallorca. A family that has a long history in the shoemaking business. Today Meermin is run by Pepe Albaladejo and his father and uncle. Originally the company was started several years ago by Pepe's grandfather. In the first place he founded a shoe company called Yanko. From the ashes of Yanko Pepe's father JosÃ© and his brother Sandro founded Meermin. The rest of members of the Albaladejo family founded another shoe company Carmina. Even though Meermin is based in Spain the firm has manufacturing facilities in China. This is a fact they don't try to hide. It is also a fact which gives them the opportunity to offer high quality shoes with a relatively reasonable price. Some might even say that the shoes are in fact really cheap. Even most of the work is done in China, they still do some of the work in Spain. 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. This helps them to maintain the standard they require. Meermin has in the past worked in the wholesale market especially in Japan, but nowdays it 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.
Meermin lines - Classic, Linea Maestro and MTO
At the moment Meermin offers shoes in two different lines or categories. The classic line includes machine goodyear welted shoes. The other one, Linea Maestro line is entirely hand-welted and features slightly finer materials and finishing. The prices for classic line shoes are around 150-160 euros. For Linea Maestro line shoes the price is 260 euros.
In addition Meermin offers 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. The list includes for example 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. This means 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.
Meermin for womenMeermin does not offer shoes for men only but do also have a line for women. Although these are not available on the web store. There were some really nice boots and other models I could imagine my girlfriend would be happy to use.
Sum up - my MTO-order
I personally have no experience of Meermin yet. During the trunk show weekend I actually had to go back on the spot for another visit on Saturday because 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. A chose a model which Meermin actually does not have at their selection yet. But after a chat with Pepe he told me he knew what I wanted, took his phone and showed a picture from his phone. He told they are just developing a model like that with the Ron last. In addition I wanted single leather soles , purple lining and for the leather picked the suede you can see below.