Every now and then I check in with the JM Weston website in the vain hope that it no longer exists. Even though I consider myself a fan of those venerable French shoemakers (hence the visits) trying to navigate your way through that cumbersome site is like swimming in treacle.
It clearly must have cost a lot of money but every image and page takes an age to load and it goes to show that however much money you throw at something it won’t always result in a good user experience.
It’s ironic if you look at the web presence of most mens ‘traditional’ shoemakers, many have spent very little without any negative impact to their brand, then somebody like Weston can spend a significant amount demonstrating their desire to embrace the web as a form of communication but by getting the execution wrong it results in a poor user experience.
Personally i’d like to see brands make more use of their web presence, it’s just important for them to connect in the right way that will not only protect the heritage of their brand but also enhance their reputation by having a better connection with their market.
Back to JM Weston, as I want to finish on a much more positive note. Over the last couple of months I have parked a few ideas for posts but unfortunately not got around to posting (I’ve been busy, apologies - normal service to resume in the new year). One of those posts also relates to Weston so only fair that I include it now;
In September, French man-about-town André Saraiva (graffiti artist, filmmaker, hotel and nightclub impresario) collaborated with JM Weston to make a short film entitled ‘The Shoe’ to celebrate the Weston loafer. So I was pleasantly surprised when I made my routine check in with the site to find a great trailer for this film pop right up on my screen (unfortunately, same old site lurking behind!). You can watch the trailer by visiting the JM Weston homepage and clicking on your preferred language version, it should pop up straight after. You can also buy the full length film from Colette.fr it’s 20 odd minutes long and comes in a box with some extras including a soundtrack CD.
I liked the trailer enough to purchase the film and I’m glad I did. It’s worth it for the soundtrack alone! Congrats to Saraiva and Weston for a nice piece of marketing, now please sort that website out!
Happy holidays, Christmas and New Year, see you on the other side…
I always love seeing inside the factories, you can feel the pride and passion that the people have for their product. This is a great one featuring Quoddy of Maine, it’s shot by Oliver Wilkins and via The Shoe Buff.
Carmina is a Spanish shoemaker founded by José Albaladejo in 1997 and based in Mallorca. Albaladejo has a rich family history in shoemaking and Carmina uses the same techniques, quality and attention to detail as it’s more recognised British counterparts.
Carmina has a deserved growing reputation and recently revamped and relaunched it’s website and announced the imminent arrival of a webshop. The ability to purchase online should be well recieved as until now you would struggle to purchase Carmina outside of Spain and Paris (where they have boutiques).
At the time of writing Carmina is in it’s summer shutdown period for a couple of weeks but I hope to bring you news of the launch date for the webshop soon as well as another post with more detailed information about the characteristics of each last.