V79: ASTORIA Important Information – Please Read

My Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Astoria, our latest shoe style and our most successful product to date, in the largest and most important order we’ve ever placed, was delivered to us this past weekend, and we have discovered that a large portion of the order has not met our quality expectations.

Basically, the factory didn’t use the materials we specified and while the construction of the shoes is fine, the quality of finish falls below the standard that we were promised and expect.

We’re afraid to say that we cannot in good conscience ship these shoes to our customers. Despite knowing that many of you depend on us for your footwear for upcoming events, these shoes do not represent what we sold to you, and we cannot say, hand on heart, that the Astoria represents an American Duchess shoe.

We’re very proud of our products and go to great lengths to make them the very best available in quality and price, and in this instance we feel that we’ve let both our customers and ourselves down. You cannot imagine how sorry we feel for breaking our promises on delivery dates and the inconvenience that this has caused our customers.

The long and short of it is: the entire shipment of both ivory and black Astorias is being remanufactured with an even higher quality calf leather than originally specified, and under a significantly tighter quality control regime than before. The quality of finish of these shoes will be everything that you expect.

The expedited remanufacturing process will take approximately 4 weeks plus shipping to the USA, so we will be expecting the remanufactured batch to arrive in the last week of April. This is the fastest that this can be done without cutting corners.

All of affected customers have been sent an email with more information about the situation. We continue to stand behind our 100% no questions asked money back guarantee, and will make every effort to continue to be available to our customers via email ([email protected]), telephone, and live chat, through www.american-duchess.com.

We thank you for your understanding, patience and support in these challenging times.

Most Sincerely,

Lauren & Chris


  • ZipZip

    March 19, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Dear Lauren,

    Thank you so much for being so careful with the shoe order. Imagine it must have been an awful discovery and led to a LOT of unanticipated work and expense.

    I am still excited about the shoes and proud to be part of this venture.

    Very best,

    Natalie (aka ZipZip)

  • Toby Wollin

    March 19, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    I cannot imagine what it must have been like for you to discover this and have to deal with it with the manufacturer. But we certainly appreciate your efforts and attention to detail to give your customers the best value.

    • Lauren R

      March 20, 2012 at 4:09 AM

      We've spent the weekend getting things in order with the Quality Assurance agent, so we can avoid this kind of thing in the future. I couldn't live with myself if I disappointed you guys on quality!

  • Sharon

    March 19, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    My compliments to you for maintaining standards and demanding that your suppliers give you a quality product. It can become so easy, under the exigencies of time constraints, to settle for compromises. In the long run, insisting on quality is better. Good for you.

  • Olympe de la Tour D'Auvergne

    March 19, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    I'm so sorry to hear that this has happened to you. My sympathies, and also my respect go out to you. I think you've handled it beautifully.

  • MrsC (Maryanne)

    March 19, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Oh Lauren and Chris, you have the patience of angels with these guys! I think you are amazing for persevering and I hope everyone is patient waiting for the shoes. They certainly look worth the wait. At least they didn't catch fire this time! 🙂

    • Lauren R

      March 20, 2012 at 4:12 AM

      Oi! Well, we took care to never have another fire again by using UPS door-to-door international, instead of multiple carriers. Well worth the extra shipping cost! This is similar – another problem to fix, but once we've got it dialed, we'll have quality assurance *before* the shipment leaves.

  • Katie R

    March 19, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Honestly, getting a pair of shoes that were falling apart would be much more horrifying than getting a quality pair a month late. Kudos for handling this so well.

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