Despite being a relatively new addition to the Styleforum family, the TLB Mallorca Official Affiliate Vendor Thread has made a notable impact and gained recognition within the community. The thread is now a receptacle of pictures of exquisite Spanish footwear and a place for members to share tips on sizing, engage in discussions about different models and leathers, and exchange helpful advice.

We had a chat with Toni, the founder and CEO of the company, delving into the brand's history and gaining insight into their promising future.


Styleforum: How did you hear about Styleforum?

: Our relationship with Styleforum goes back many years. As a member of the international community of shoemakers and lovers of good shoes, we are loyal followers of the forum. We know that it is a meeting point for great brands with customers and fashion lovers from all over the world, that's why we do not hesitate to be part of this community.

SF: What does “TLB” stand for?

: Toni Llobera Barceló is my name, and therefore the acronym of who I am. I thought it was important to stay at the forefront to give visibility to my family's tradition. The values they taught me and everything I know comes from them and that is why I honor my roots. On the other hand, I wanted to be transparent while maintaining a direct link with my clients, whom I appreciate and with whom I try to maintain as close a relationship as possible.

SF: Tell us about how TLB was born and when.

: TLB was born thanks to the sum of several factors. I was working at another company in the industry where my vision of offering a high quality product to our customers was not shared by my partners. I had to invest a lot of my time in trying to convince them of what to do and what not to do in order to have an identity as a brand and as a product. I had struggled to give continuity to long term projects in order to make them viable. One day, I understood that this situation would never change so I took the decision to start the TLB Mallorca project.
After many difficulties and a lot of work, we have managed to create a brand that has been consolidated, opening our own factory where each and every one of our shoes and belts are made. There are very few brands that can boast of creating their products from scratch in their own house, so we feel immensely proud of being able to do so. Thanks to the trust of our customers and their continued loyalty to our brand, we keep growing day by day.


SF: How has TLB evolved since its creation?

: It has been almost six years since the official launch of TLB, but in fact TLB was born much earlier. I kept working in the shadows for a year and a half, searching and ordering all the necessary machinery to start the factory. At the same time, I worked on the development of the first lasts, designs, patterns, trademark registration, logo, website and a lot of other work prior to the official launch.
Since TLB's launch, we have not stopped working and we have added many new models; we created the Artista collection and we have been adding new lasts and models non-stop. We have launched the comfort collection and we hope to offer many more novelties in the upcoming months. New Models, new manufacturing, new collections and some other surprises for our customers.

SF: TLB’s footwear is made entirely on the island of Mallorca, but you work with international tanneries to offer your customers some of the best leather available; tell us about these tanneries and why they’re your choice for TLB.

: For the manufacture of shoes and belts we always look for leathers and materials that allow to customize the finishes in order to offer our customers a product with added value. Of course, we maintain our criteria when selecting the materials, in order to achieve a high quality product that allows us to offer each customer a special look of great durability. It is essential to select materials that will age well with use.

SF: TLB specialises in Goodyear welting. Could you explain to someone who’s not familiar with this technique what it entails and why is it a superior method of shoemaking?

: The truth is that I think all manufacturing has a meaning and everything is linked to the concept of shoe that you want to offer.
When we talk about Goodyear-welted we are talking about a very complex manufacturing in all senses, where many factors and processes are involved and must be mastered to offer the product we are currently offering.
In summary, Goodyear manufacturing consists of sewing the welt to the insole by also sewing the leather of the shoe, so you join leather and insole and then you have a second sewing that joins the welt with the sole. This way, you get a sole sewn to the leather of the shoe, but without the holes that come from sewing the sole in the inner insole, as is the case with Blake sewing.
With the Goodyear method, we get a completely smooth insole without any alteration that is accommodated by a layer of cork placed between the sole and the insole. This allows, with use, for the cork and the insole to take the shape of the foot, which results in enhanced comfort as it is not the foot that needs to adapts to the insole.


SF: Currently, you have 3 collections of ready-to-wear footwear on your website: Main, Artista, and Comfort. What are the differences?

: The Main collection is our first collection and is where we offer basic and classic models of a lifetime. Manufactured with the traditional Goodyear-welted manufacturing where we apply our Know How, using quality materials and finishing the shoes with the TLB criteria.
The Artista collection is the evolution of Goodyear-Welted manufacturing where we offer a product that we think is very difficult to find in the market for its aesthetics, finishes and final look.
Full list of features which all are either very rare or unique for this price range:

- Extremely slim bevelled waists, which accentuates the shape of the shoe. Made with stitching all the way back to the heel, so the waist is not only cemented or Blake stitched, as is commonly seen when making narrower waists.
- Bevelling of the waist continues in under the heel, which normally can almost only be found on bespoke shoes. This creates a stronger waist, and looks more natural.
- Real leather heel stiffeners (not leather board), conforms to the feet in the best way,and is a living material that can be re-shaped if needed.
- Close-cut heels, follows the natural lines of the shoes.
- Very smooth sanded sole and heel edges, also the waist edge is smooth, which is very rare to see. This not only looks lovely, but it makes it much easier to polish and keep the edges in good condition.
- Tight sole stitch of 8 SPI (stitches per inch), together with a well-balanced fudge wheel setting.

We also have launched a Comfort collection. A small but very curated selection that will soon be growing with more models and other constructions. Our Comfort collection was born to complement the casual style of our customers in order to meet other needs they may have, while maintaining our quality standard materials and manufacturing process.

SF: How do you stay up to date with the clothing industry and current trends?

: We slightly follow the trends of the clothing industry but we make a timeless, continuous product. We are fortunate to have models that are perfect for outfits ranging from the most classic to the most modern and can be adapted to the style of any modern man.
Our trips to the main cities of the world allow us to keep up to date with the main trends. Thanks to our contact with America, Asia and Europe we are able to assess the best developments for our products. This in turn, allows us to better understand the needs of each customer.

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SF: What’s the most popular shoe or boot model on your catalog right now?

: The Artista line has always been very special. Since its beginnings it has had a great reception due to the quality of its lines and the fineness of its finishes. Some of the most requested models are the classic cap toe 112 and 198, our penny and tassel loafers from the Artista collection along with some Derby models. Furthermore, if we have to name one of the best-selling boots, our Chelsea is among the most requested. Our loafers have always been well received too, especially those in versatile leathers such as Vegano or Boxcalf, the latter being suitable for more elegant outfits.
We have recently launched a new collection of these comfortable shoes for spring ‘23 with options in current models and new designs. Some of them are already being well received by our regular customers, who have not hesitated to incorporate models like the 283 Artista Unlined in their closet.

SF: if you were going to recommend a TLB model to Indiana Jones, what would it be, and why?

: It depends on whether you have to use It to teach your students or if you are going to use it in one of your adventures. This has always been a very respected character because of his presence. His air of masculinity is largely given by his classic looks, always ready for adventure.
For daily use I would recommend any of our oxfords, even one of our Monk Strap shoes, like the Keaton or Cooper.
For one of his adventures, I would recommend him to keep an eye out. This coming winter we will be launching a very special collection of boots that I think would be ideal. In the meantime, he can continue with his adventures with some of our classics boots, like 140 from our Artista line.

Join the conversation on the TLB Mallorca Official Affiliate Vendor Thread
Shop TLB Mallorca on their Official Website