John Lobb Bootmaker
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|Founded||Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK (1866)|
|Headquarters||9 St. James's Street, London, United Kingdom|
John Lobb Bootmaker is a company that manufactures and retails a luxury brand of shoes and boots mainly for men, but also for women. Leather goods such as wallets and belts are also available. John Lobb Bootmaker has been in business for almost 150 years.
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.
In the middle of the 19th century, a farmer’s son, crippled as the result of an accident, made his way on foot from Cornwall to London. He was apprenticed to Tomas, the greatest bootmaker in London, unaware, as yet, that in time he would found the most prestigious dynasty of bootmakers in the world. Once he had finished his apprenticeship, he set off for Australia, at the time of the gold rush, where he supplied gold prospectors with boots with hollow heels, a safe cache for gold nuggets. Some years later, he was awarded a gold medal at the London universal Exhibition, whereupon in 1863 he sent a pair of boots to the Prince of Wales, who was impressed by the workmanship that he promptly appointed him his personal supplier.
He returned to England and opened a shop in London in 1866 and continued to build the legend of bootmaker to the Kings, and King of bootmakers.
Following the success of the London base, John Lobb opened a shop in Paris in 1902.
In 1976, the famous French luxury brand, Hermès, took over the John Lobb name and, whilst sticking to the traditional heritage of ultimate craftsmanship, continued to broaden 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. The original, family-owned Lobb still handmakes shoes one pair at a time. Until the 1980s, John Lobb operated only custom-made activity in London and in Paris. From 1982 onwards, the ready-to-wear activity has complemented the made to measure, and distribution has extended.
Hermès' John Lobb shoes are sold in its own boutiques or in luxury department stores such as Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges, Neiman Marcus, Lane Crawford and Leffot. Hermès' 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 £2400. The average price is approximately £2700 (as on 15 January 2009), if ordering from the St James's Street shop.
Famous clients of John Lobb include Diana Spencer, Queen Victoria, Andy Warhol, Louis Mountbatten, Enrico Caruso, Jackie Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier, Duke Ellington, David Niven, Calvin Klein, Muammar Gaddafi and Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn.
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- By Royal Appointment (in English). ITV3. 2012. Event occurs at 8:00pm. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
- Dobbs, Brian (1972). The Last Shall Be First. Elm Tree books. ISBN 0241022738.
- Dobbs, Brian (1972). The Last Shall Be First: The Colourful Story of John Lobb The St. James's Bootmakers. Elm Tree Books. ISBN 0241022738.