In the middle of the 19th century, John Lobb was a lame Cornish farmboy whose mastery of the Gentle Craft of last and awl brought him golden awards in the Great International Exhibitions. He held the Royal Warrant as Bootmaker to Edward, Prince of Wales. In this ‘Edwardian’ era of opulence and splendour, Lobb shoes became synonymous with quality and elegance.
In 1976, the French luxury brand, Hermès, took over the John Lobb name and has since broadened the reach of the brand.
The Last Shall Come First
A John Lobb shoe- or boot-maker stretches leather over a ‘last’, a beech wood form that is a hand-carved representation of the customer’s foot. Then he draws a pattern for the uppers which is passed to a clicker, the person who cuts the leather. Next, the closer assembles the leather uppers. Once this is done, the heel and soles are clicked. The shoe- or boot-maker assembles all the parts and finally, polishes the shoes or boots.