Monday, April 27, 2009


West 54th Street, NYC
April 23rd, 2009

Words, images Judith Ecochard

An intimate presentation is an ideal setting in which to preview collections from luxury brands.

Last week, we took in the new styles and reinterpreted classics of the made-to-measure and ready-to-wear lines from France’s hundred plus years old cobbler, John Lobb- in such a locale.

It gave us a (leisurely) chance to admire the artistry… up close and personal. And lucky for us, one of John Lobb’s acclaimed Master Craftsman, Paul Wilson, was available to answer questions and understandably so, lovingly point out the expertly applied details that make a bespoke shoe worth the cost ($6000 and up)- of every hand stitch and hand polished nuance.

To commemorate the company’s relocation of all aspects of its business (workshops, bespoke salon, corporate offices and the famous climate controlled last storage space)- to new stately quarters at 32 Rue de Mogador near the Paris Opera…in, naturally, Paris, France.

John Lobb is offering clients handsome selections of laboriously made oxfords, slip-ons and boots all finished with a sole hand polished in “Mogador purple.” (A deep eggplant purple shade).

One gentlemanly elegant shoe we admired-is the made from one piece of primo leather “Mogador Phillip II Oxford” with a round toe. The stitched and punching details hand applied on the toe cap, vamp and facings reflect the high level technical know-how inherent to any pair of John Lobb kickers.

And for clients, knowing that the shoe’s inner layers are also made from top quality leather (while other high end cobblers often use resin and a heat activated stiffner) –is secretly satisfying. And clearly ensures a more exacting and comfortable fit.

Our other top pick is the suave “Patrick Magador” boot---a true knockout. With a piped quarter that is curved instead of coming straight down into the sole, the visually appealing shoe is exceptionally comfortable as well as a refreshed modern looking shoe.

For the RTW collection ($1100-$1700), suede and top quality leathers are also used---and as always, every step of the “hand” production process---is readily apparent.

The new “kick-around” sports shoe has a unique sole treatment that we think will make this versatile ped covering very popular.

NEW: A collection of wallets and billfolds made from the delicate and costly Australian crocodile (the Crocodylus porosus).

FACTOID: An oxford in white leather, polished in a dusty pink for a Japanese client was one of the most unusual color requests.