Despatching footwear from Sydney to the Great International Exhibitions of Victorian times, his exemplary work with
last and awl had earned him a Royal Warrant as Bootmaker to Edward, Prince of Wales by the time he returned home to
Britain and set up shop in London in 1866.
Over the following century, the brand became shoemaker of choice for prominent politicians as well as royalty of a
showbiz variety. More than ever before name, the name “John Lobb” is redolent of unsurpassed shoemaking excellence.
It carries the same cache amongst the sartorial cognoscenti as Aston Martin and Patek Philippe do amongst automotive
and horological devotees respectively.
In 1976, John Lobb was acquired by the Hermès 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 Hermès-owned company.
Shortly after acquiring the company, Hermès 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 1982 the debut ready-to-wear collection was launched, with the first store showcasing the RTW
line opening in Paris in 1990.
Each pair of the brand’s shoes is the result of countless hours of creative endeavour - in adherence to a vision,
conceived by Paula Gerbase since she became artistic director in 2014, based on deep probes into the company’s
archives, which pays tribute to the eponymous founder’s rural roots - as well as a 190-step craft process which
elevates the concept of artisanal endeavour to new levels.
It’s impossible to overstate what a distinction we deem it to be, to become one of a handful of external vendors of
such exemplary examples of contemporary shoemaking as: the house’s iconic Lopez loafer, a style dating back to 1950
with a neat saddle and a hand stitched apron; the Tyne, another loafer, this time in supple and unlined suede,
featuring a raised apron seam and tonal reverse suede accents on the collar; the William, a quintessential
double-buckle style whose narrative goes back to the 1940s; and the ‘Lawry’ Chelsea boot, whose silhouette and
exquisitely textured elastic and pull tabs call to mind the footwear sported by avant-garde dressers of 60s