Thursday, October 8, 2009
JOHN LOBB: SPRING/SUMMER 2010
READY TO WEAR and BESPOKE MEN’S SHOES “NOT ABOUT FASHION BUT ABOUT LIFESTYLE”
Words Judith Ecochard,
Images courtesy of John Lobb and J. Ecochard
The life story of a John Lobb shoe - is always a jaw dropper for us.
With top quality leather linings- assuring a glove like fit, hand applied polish that takes days to get just right, single or double soles of leather that are plied together via a ‘sunk by stones, soaked in water’ process, not slapped up with glue, the finest skins- from exclusive sources (like the naturally aged Australian salt water alligator that yields a thick last forever ped covering) , and boar fur threads- hand stitched (“because a real needle would blemish the shoe”) …
John Lobb epitomizes the best of the best.
Keeping up with the demand for John Lobb shoes--- is a problem---given the need for a very skilled labor force, let alone top-notch materials.
For Spring /Summer 2010, John Lobb has both casual and more formal shoes for men---all modern classics.
New this year, are more selections comprised of the suave pairings of materials---linen/suede, linen/leather, and leather/suede.
Our favorite look is the Kipling-in a white misty calf/khaki suede loafer that has a water jet applied, design that is cleverly embedded, so to speak, in the shoe.
Another winning use of different textures is a dapper, refreshed City III shoe===here made of khaki calf and linen.
Travel/Home slip-ons created from super soft suede or leather offer unlined, finely stitched casual elegance…that’s lightweight--- ideal for packing, but still sturdy enough to wear anywhere-- because of the leather soles.
No surprise…John Lobb has expanded its line of sandals…in calf leather, croc, and calf leather/linen options. This really is the way European men shod their feet in warmer climes…pair with crisp jeans or denim and white cotton shirts.
Popular styles, like the double buckled timeless Chapel shoes, MADE FROM A SINGLE PIECE OF LEATHER, with no backstitching…are available year round. The ultimate---the bespoke pair pictured atop.
In our review of Fall 2009, we wrote up John Lobb’s heralded move to new headquarters/salon in Paris at 32 Rue de Magador.
Conveniently, there are now online options that allow for the personal service that the captains of industry and entertainment demand and expect from arguably, one of the true luxury brands left.
Customers can arrange to Skype™ their personal (or new) salesperson as part of the new “At Your Service” wardrobe experience. Have a swatch of Prince of Wales suiting clamoring for the perfect kicker? Just show a sales associate the fabric via webcam, and a successful partnership is born.
For customers who cannot get to the John Lobb boutiques, this is an innovative way to tap the expertise of John Lobb employees.
Also available in the USA...an E-commerce site..
Of course, the bespoke service is the ultimate way to envelope one’s foot. New for us, was learning that it takes nearly a year for a custom crafted pair of shoes to be made because the process rivals any couture service.
For example, customers’ peds aren’t scanned, but carefully measured, and then recreated, really sculpted, by hand in wood.
Another tidbits learned…the “try-on” pair, or trial shoe is marked up then destroyed.
Even the ready to wear collections, made in Northern England, made from existing lasts, require the same number of steps in the production process as the bespoke Parisian born brethren.
ACCESSORIES: Briefcases and belts, billfolds and a plush shoe care ‘kit’ in a stunning box/ case made from Macassar ebony. Indian rosewood, walnut burl or Amboina burl---are the ultimate gifts to give or to keep.
INFO: JOHN LOBB