John Lobb Bootmaker is a company that manufactures and retails a very exclusive luxury brand of shoes and boots mainly for men, but also for women. It is based near St James's Palace, at 9 St James's Street, London. Founded in 1849, Lobb is one of England's oldest makers of bench-made shoes. At Lobb, special care is taken to select the fine leather skinsï¿½with crocodile skin shoes for about USD 8000 at the top of the range.
The original, family-owned Lobb still handmakes shoes one pair at a time, while Hermï¿½s who acquired use of the John Lobb name in 1976 broadened the reach of the John Lobb brandname through its ready-to-wear line. The production of each pair of John Lobb ready-to-wear shoes is so time-consuming that only about 100 pairs of shoes are finished per day.
Hermï¿½s' John Lobb shoes are available in both ready-to-wear and made-to-measure. Its motto is "The Bare Maximum for a Man".
Hermï¿½s' John Lobb shoes are sold in its own boutiques or in luxury department stores such as Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges, Neiman Marcus and Lane Crawford. Hermï¿½s' John Lobb also has boutiques in countries around the world, including the United States, Russia, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and several European Union countries.
A pair of bespoke leather shoes costs over ï¿½2400. The average price is approximately ï¿½2700 (as on 15 January 2009), if ordering from the St James's Street shop.
John Lobb has been making the finest shoes and boots for gentlemen since 1866 in London and 1902 in Paris. Its rich heritage is reinforced by timeless qualities of craftsmanship, service and style - attributes that are now available to a wider international John Lobb audience. The company continues to maintain its bespoke shoe-making tradition in Paris, while also retaining core bespoke principles in the manufacture of its expanding ready-to-wear collection of shoes and leather goods.
John Lobb Bootmaker has been in business for almost 150 years - and prides itself on upholding its exacting standards and unique levels of craftsmanship in the creation of hand-made shoes and boots for men. John Lobb himself was born in 1829 in Cornwall, south-west England, but made his way to London as a young man as an apprentice bootmaker. Following a successful period in Australia making boots for the miners of the gold rush, he returned to London to set up his first shop on Regent Street in 1866.
John Lobb rapidly established itself as the premier boot and shoemaker of the day, providing a bespoke service to the aristocracy, as well as the political and business elite. In 1902 the company opened its first store in Paris, which echoed its London success and attracted a broad array of international clients. The company thrived in the post-war era with the launch of a number of classic models such as the William 'monk' shoe and the Lopez loafer.
In 1976, John Lobb was acquired by the Hermï¿½s Group. However, the London bespoke workshop, John Lobb Ltd, remained in the hands of the family, and continues to operate independently from its premises at 9 St James's Street. The Paris bespoke atelier, the By Request service and ready-to-wear collection, as well as all the other John Lobb boutiques, are all part of the Hermï¿½s-owned company.
Shortly after acquiring the company, Hermï¿½s recognised the demand for a John Lobb ready-to-wear collection of men's shoes, as Lobbs were only available to bespoke customers, limiting access to a privileged few. In 1981 the debut ready-to-wear collection was launched, with the first store showcasing the RTW line opening in Paris in 1990. In 1994, John Lobb opened its Northampton workshop, where today, the ready-to-wear line is designed and made by hand, a London boutique followed on Jermyn Street. Over the last decade, the company has expanded its retail presence across the globe with stores in major cities in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The ultimate John Lobb bespoke service is still available from the Paris atelier, now based on 32 rue de Mogador. Meanwhile the ready-to-wear collection retains the core bespoke qualities of John Lobb in its 190-step manufacturing process for each pair of shoes. The collection includes all the iconic classics, as well as fresh seasonal additions and new models, such as the Driver by John Lobb, which reflect contemporary lifestyles and international audiences. All its shoes retain the timeless traditions of John Lobb: exceptional quality, fine craftsmanship, comfort, durability and elegance.