This thread was inspired by @mebejoseph, given his customer service issues and mentioning of AE's new website.

How we got here:
- They were acquired by a discount shoe conglomerate in late 2016, after previously being held by a private equity company.
- Over the past year, they quietly introduced a few more casual shoe lines and a cemented shoe line, both pretty quietly, and seemingly to not much fanfare (which they have been known to do from time to time).
- They had a massive firesale over Labor Day weekend, taking an extra 40% off on all clearance items (including Shoebank, which I hadn't seen before).
- In some other threads, there have been rumblings over 1) complementary shoebags no longer being offered, and 2) shoes now being sold in crappier boxes.
- Today, we get an e-mail from AE's CEO, introducing the "New Allen Edmonds."

Well, looking at their website, they've released quite a number of new shoes, with the following features:
- Numbered Lasts, Limited Widths: Quite a few new shoes have been introduced without reference to the old numbered last system. Instead, it looks like many shoes are being offered in a "classic fit", with only D and EEE sizes available.
- Limited Designs: Most of the new offerings appear to be very basic designs that are redundant to previous AE styles--e.g., a basic penny loafer, a basic captoe oxford, a basic longwing, etc. Very limited colorways.
- Buzzword Constructions: Most of the new shoe descriptions are boasting flexible welts and lightweight construction, with buzzwords like "SpeedWelt," "Custom Cork," and "Shock Form Insole"
- Pricing: A new line of "Made in Italy" shoes now retailing for $500+, but appear to be cemented.

It seems like the company is pivoting to higher prices, moving away towards GYW construction, emphasizing easier break-in/lighter construction, and simplifying their offerings across the board (fewer styles, fewer colorways, fewer sizes). Gulp.