I've just got back my pair of Ferragamo penny loafers from the cobbler located at the Ikano Power Centre in Mutiara Damansara. The shoes are the usual stuck on/ glued constructed type with the rubber/p.u composite that Ferragamo makes a ton of money selling. I say makes tons of money as they will eventually crack after some years. I got these in 2008 I think (too many shoes...I don't remember exactly) and sometime in October 2014 the soles cracked. Still a good seven or so years before they did so.
Ferragamo has three lines over in Malaysia and Singapore. The first are those that just state 'Salvatore Ferragamo' on the soles, like the pair in question. Mostly P.U-rubber soles or leather glued on or at the very least mocassin construction. Leathers on top are usually devoid of any hand finishing or patina, burnishing or antiquing. Some do, like this one.
The second higher up line is marked with 'Lavorazione Originale'. This is usually Blake stitched and the leathers are better. But the Originale line has various levels of quality and work done on the shoe. Some are just plain black or brown and ugly. Some are sublime and have better finished uppers than even the top of the line 'Tramezza'.
The Tramezza is Ferragamo's top of the line shoe. Construction of these shoes are usually Goodyear welted and are top notch. Leather uppers are good but styling is usually conservative with no over the top hand finishing at all.
As for pricing, all are considered overpriced and only worth purchasing when on at least 50% of their asking price. I buy Ferragamo only if the shoe styling is what I like and heavily discounted. Actually I usually buy shoes here in Malaysia or Singapore if they are in discount. Unless its a Sutor Mantellassi or a Gaziano Girling from PLal Store as they don't do discounts but are priced reasonably well or a few other brands over in Singapore.
Anyway, these pair of glued Ferragamos were bought simply because they looked good and are bloody comfortable to wear. I do not really care about construction because I know that even glued shoes can be repaired to a certain standard here like this pair of Ferragamo. From glued to stitched too. This is why I do not truly limit myself to just welted shoes as there are options of repair out there. Style, fit and the material as well as the finishing if the uppers before actual sole construction.
You see, the cobbler located at the IPC has proper equipment to turn any normal stick on glued shoe into a Blake stitched one. It isn't that hard as shoe uppers usually have enough leather pulled underneath to ensure that they have enough surface to let the adhesive stick to the sole. So it is possible to stitch the upper to a new Blake stitched sole.
In Malaysia, there are more People who actually buy glued or blake stitched Ferragamo, Gucci or Italian designer loafers than combining Loakes, Church's or any other welted shoe. Only a select number buys them and if you check out the better cobblers in town you are bound to see a lot of Ferragamo or the sort lying around. So cobblers here invest Blake stitch equipment. One good reason to buy Blake stitched shoes if you are in Malaysia, no?
So there you have it. Ferragamo lines of shoes explained and the fact that even stuck on constructed shoes can be repaired and made better by being stitched.