The Artisanal Legacy: A Journey Through the History of Bespoke Shoemaking from John Lobb

In the world of luxury footwear, few names evoke the same level of admiration and respect as John Lobb. With a history spanning over a century, the John Lobb brand has become synonymous with bespoke shoemaking of unparalleled craftsmanship and quality. Join us as we delve into the remarkable history of John Lobb, a brand that continues to epitomize the art of bespoke shoemaking.

The Founding of a Legacy

The origins of John Lobb can be traced back to the mid-19th century when the talented cobbler John Lobb opened his first workshop in London. Born in 1829 in Cornwall, England, John Lobb honed his skills under the apprenticeship of his father, a shoemaker himself. At the age of 22, John moved to London and quickly gained recognition for his exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Word of his masterful workmanship spread like wildfire, attracting an elite clientele, including members of the British aristocracy and European nobility. The workshop's reputation for creating bespoke shoes of unparalleled quality soon became the talk of fashionable circles in London and beyond.

The Art of Bespoke Shoemaking

Bespoke shoemaking, a time-honored tradition practiced by John Lobb, represents the epitome of luxury and personalized service. Unlike ready-to-wear shoes, bespoke footwear involves a highly individualized process where each pair is meticulously crafted to fit the client's unique foot measurements and style preferences.

At John Lobb, the bespoke process starts with a consultation during which the client's requirements and desires are discussed. Precise measurements are taken, and a wooden last is created, serving as a three-dimensional template to shape the shoe according to the client's foot anatomy. Every aspect of the shoe, from the leather selection to the finishing details, is carefully chosen in collaboration with the client.

The Craftsmanship that Transcends Generations

John Lobb's dedication to perfection and innovation earned the brand a Royal Warrant in 1863, a prestigious recognition from the British monarchy for supplying footwear to the Royal Family. This honor solidified the brand's reputation as a paragon of quality and craftsmanship.

With the passing of time, the legacy of John Lobb was carried forward by the next generation of the Lobb family. The family's commitment to preserving the brand's heritage and values ensured that each pair of John Lobb shoes continued to be a testament to artisanal excellence.

Expanding Horizons

As the demand for bespoke craftsmanship grew, John Lobb expanded its reach beyond the shores of England. In 1976, the brand opened its first boutique in Paris, attracting a discerning international clientele. This expansion marked the beginning of a new chapter in the brand's history, with boutiques established in other major cities, including New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

John Lobb's iconic ready-to-wear line, launched in 1982, allowed more enthusiasts to experience the brand's distinctive designs and exceptional quality. Despite the growth, the brand never compromised its core commitment to the timeless traditions of bespoke shoemaking.


The journey of John Lobb through the annals of bespoke shoemaking history is a testament to the enduring allure of craftsmanship and the pursuit of perfection. From its humble beginnings in a London workshop to its global presence, the brand has left an indelible mark on the luxury footwear industry.

Through generations of master shoemakers, John Lobb has remained true to its heritage, preserving the art of bespoke shoemaking and elevating it to new heights. Today, the brand's iconic shoes continue to be cherished by discerning individuals who seek more than just footwear but a personalized work of art that transcends time and trends.