In a world of luxury leather goods, there are some designers I consider heavy-hitters, who have spent decades upon decades in the industry building a quality business and, well, a legacy.
Such a designer is John Lobb, a bespoke bootmaker from London. The label, which was established in 1866, has a distinctly highbrow, English spirit and was a hit in Europe from the start. It’s since moved into ready-to-wear and generally expanded its retail network to Asia and the Middle East, as well as to leading digital retailers.
Though, what exactly makes John Lobb one of the best bespoke shoemakers in the world? Read on to find out.
First, a bit of history
John Lobb came from humble beginnings, having been born in a small, southwestern English village in 1829. He cut his teeth as a shoemaking apprentice, and in search of better opportunities, he departed for London in his early 20s. From the English capital, he gained passage on a ship to Australia as a member of its crew and became known in Sydney for making boots for gold miners, according to Forbes. He was so successful that upon returning to London in 1863, Lobb was named bootmaker to the Prince of Wales and opened his first shop just a few years later.
By the turn of the century, the bespoke, or full-custom, shoemaker had gone international with a boutique in Paris. In the 1970s, it was acquired by the iconic purveyor of leather goods, Hermès. And it wasn’t long after that the brand expanded into ready-to-wear shoes, handmade in its Northampton workshop. The label is perhaps best known for its bespoke pairs of boots and $1,900 ready-to-wear oxford shoes, which have passed through boardrooms all over the world, from Los Angeles to New York and from Geneva to Tokyo.
John Lobb’s shoes and boots are handcrafted in a manner that requires complex skill and acute attention to detail. Its products are made with the highest quality leather and Goodyear welted for sturdiness—the makings of a supremely constructed pair of shoes.
Ready to order a pair of handmade shoes?
Something I say pridefully is that John Lobb and Esquivel’s shoes are very well-made. Aesthetically, we each have our own perspective, though I like to think we’ve both bred our brands from our values of exceptional craftsmanship, wearability, and personalized service. John Lobb has pretty consistently channeled a style serious, sophisticated, and distinctly British aesthetic, while Esquivel takes a more playful, West Coast-inspired approach to shoe and accessory design.
Of course, Esquivel doesn’t specialize in bespoke shoes; rather, we can help you with all of your handmade and custom shoe orders. In purchasing a luxury pair of shoes from either label, you can’t go wrong, as both are designed with versatility and longevity in mind. Both also warmly welcome you to an intimate experience.
With over 20 years in the fashion industry, Esquivel Shoes takes pride in being a valuable resource for shoppers. To learn more about our handmade shoe collection or any other products we offer, send us a message through this link. We’re here to give you peace of mind and help you find the best handcrafted shoes for you.
George is a Southern California-based designer and craftsman who designed his first pair of shoes in 1994 and began honing his craft thereafter. For over 20 years, he’s operated his namesake brand, Esquivel, which specializes in handmade shoes and accessories. In the last decade, George served as Creative Director of renowned luxury bag and luggage brand Tumi Inc. and as Creative Consultant for Italian heritage brand Fratelli Rossetti, and has collaborated with many others for his own brand. George was a 2009 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist, and has been a CFDA member since 2010. When he’s not working alongside his team of artisans at his atelier, Esquivel House, in Downtown Los Angeles, George is enjoying time with his wife and high school sweetheart, Shelley, and their three grown children. He also loves mountain biking and hosting good friends for dinners and fêtes.