From a customer’s point of view.
Many bespoke craftsmen can execute your commission. But who should you choose? Ask yourself:
1. Is the artisan accessible (through trunk shows or can you travel frequently)?
Consider that garment aftercare may be needed — globetrotting to replace a lining is quite inconvenient.
2. Is their style your favorite?
Even if you want an “English” shoe, every maker’s style still varies widely. Don’t settle.
3. Do you have easy access to the tailor/cutter/last-maker?
Outfitters and sales representatives can know fittings, but usually lack technical knowledge of the craft.
Also see if you have good rapport. That will start a lasting friendship.
5. Is the artisan reliable?
Timely responds to emails, Instagram messages, and inquiries about your order.
6. Is there a strong rapport?
Very important. Whether both parties get along can really make or break your experience.
You can more or less gauge a good relationship from the start (unless they demonstrate poor craft or behavior later on).
If you have any reservations, wait. That’s your gut feeling telling you to pause and reconsider.
But when you find a trusted artisan both parties will value that relationship for years to come.
Some points overlap, but for more read How to Rate Artisans?