A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Timeless Maker of Gentlemen's Brogues
No less than Frank Sinatra, Aristotle Onassis and Prince Charles have sworn sartorial allegiance to English shoemaker John Lobb, so to mark the brand’s 150th anniversary this year NOWNESS traveled to the Northampton factory where the classic designs are born. Known for such iconic styles as the double-buckled William “Monk” shoe (named for founder John Lobb’s son) and the slip-on Lopez loafer, the brand follows a rigorous 190-step process for the creation of each pair, which spans several weeks from the initial cutting of the Italian calf leather to the final buff once the sole has been attached. “Shoes are an essential part of a man’s identity,” says Andrés Hernandez, the company’s creative director. “To the non-discerning customer, one black brogue is the same as another, but what makes John Lobb shoes special is that we know the dreams and expectations of the customer; we achieve the most you can from a shoe.” Having opened its first London store in 1866 on Regent Street, with a Paris outpost following soon after, the brand is now owned by the Hermès Group, with the exception of its bespoke workshop, which remains in the hands of the family.