John Lobb (St. James's Street, London) vs. John Lobb (Hermès, Paris)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by SteG, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. SteG

    SteG Well-Known Member

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    I understand that, since 1976, these two brands have been separate operations going back to the same founder, Mr. John Lobb.
    But would somebody tell me how I could distinguish shoes from each manufacturer when I am looking at them outside any of their offical stores? Would they both say "John Lobb" on the sole, is it the same font, do the St. James's shoes display the royal warrants on the shoes, what is the color of the soles, what do the boxes look like etc. What's the recognizable difference between "bespoke handmade to measure" (St. James's) and "bespoke" or "by request" (Hermès, Paris) vs. ready-to-wear (Hermès, Paris) and their Prestige vs. Classic collections when looking at the shoes.
    Many thanks in advance, SteG.

    Family owned, single-store operation (made in St. James's Street): http://www.johnlobbltd.co.uk

    Hermès-owned multi-store operation (made in Northampton or Paris): http://www.johnlobb.com

    It's been two royal warrants since 2008 for the St. James's branch (the Queen didn't renew hers):
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Northampton-made RTW?
    [​IMG]

    Three royal warrants on the insole:
    [​IMG]

    Insole signature font:
    [​IMG]

    Plain sole:
    [​IMG]

    John Lobb, Paris?
    [​IMG]

    Rubber sole, Paris:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012


  2. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Both firms, John Lobb, London (JLL) and John Lobb, Paris (JLP) use that same 'hand-written' signature by the historic John Lobb on their bespoke shoes.

    JLP has the signature length-wise in the shoe, nothing else:

    [​IMG]

    JLL uses the same signature cross-wise and adds 'London, Paris, New York as well as the Royal Warrants (two or three, depending on when the shoes were produced):

    [​IMG]

    John Lobb ready-to-wear are produced by JLP (Hermes) in Northampton, England.
    They do not use the signature, all their products are marked with that particular typeface and that 'JL' logo as well as the signature colour 'canary yellow'

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "Confused? - You won't be, after this week's episode of (shoe) SOAP!"
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012


  3. ncdobson

    ncdobson Senior member

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    ^^^Clear & concise as usual. Thanks.
     


  4. SteG

    SteG Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!
    Since you seem to know so much, here are few more questions:
    * Does the color of the leather sole underneath mean anything in terms of specific collections?
    * The bespoke shoes (JLP bespoke and JLL all) do not show the size anywhere on the shoe and have plain leather soles without marks, right?
    * Is it true that the bespoke JLP shoes are even more expensive than the JLL ones?
    * Do JLP bespoke models also come in yellow packaging and what do the boxes of JLL look like, red?
    Thanks, again.

    So, this would be JLP RTW from Northampton, right?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And these, since they have no marks on the sole? JLP bespoke? Or JLP RTW Prestige?
    [​IMG]

    And those? Fake?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012


  5. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Senior member

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    In order of your photos:

    1) I don't think those are Lobbs. They look like EGs or Grenson Masterpieces.

    2) This looks like a standard JL heel. There doesn't appear to be much curvature to the waist so I'm guessing that is probably the classic line, made in Northampton.

    3) Also JLP made in Northampton.

    4) These are mine actually - photographed on my living room armchair. JL 2008 or what they now call the St. Crispin edition, made to prestige standards. No markings on the sole. Purchased at the factory in Northampton.

    5) These look like bespoke from the St. James' operation, no?
     


  6. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    Yup those are bespoke ones from the St. James' operation
     


  7. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    An easy way to tell if they are prestige line or regular is looking at the sole. John Lobb Prestige will have soles like this
    [​IMG]

    And the regular line will have soles like the ones you posted (the non bespoke ones)
     


  8. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    * Does the color of the leather sole underneath mean anything in terms of specific collections?

    Not necessarily. JLL and JLP both prefer an all black sole on black shoes and a natural on brown shoes. But it's bespoke, so they will do whatever the customer asks for. JLP Northampton uses a plain leather sole on their standard and a 'painted waist on their Prestige range.

    .
    * The bespoke shoes (JLP bespoke and JLL all) do not show the size anywhere on the shoe and have plain leather soles without marks, right?

    Bespoke shoes are never made to a standard size but to the customer's size. They will show no size but an order-number, so specifics about that order can be looked up in the order book.


    * Is it true that the bespoke JLP shoes are even more expensive than the JLL ones?

    I believe so.


    * Do JLP bespoke models also come in yellow packaging and what do the boxes of JLL look like, red?

    Yellow is the signature colour of the ready-to-wear range. I think the boxes of JLL feature medals won at at the Paris World Exhibition some 100 years ago.


    Thanks, again.
    So, this would be JLP RTW from Northampton, right?


    [​IMG]
    Not sure about those shoes. Are they JL? They might be RTW from the early 90s when C&J and EG made them.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    JL Northampton. The rubber insert in the heel utilizes the JL logo.

    And these, since they have no marks on the sole? JLP bespoke? Or JLP RTW Prestige?

    [​IMG]
    Ready to wear. See the JL rubber insert and the yellow bags. Probably standard range, as the Prestige have a painted waist.

    And those? Fake?

    [​IMG]
    Definitely not! Those are JLP bespoke, belong to member 'manton' and did cost an arm and a leg.
     


  9. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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  10. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Senior member

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    I'm not sure that my JL 2008's from the factory are a good example of a JL "line", for purposes of this thread. These were purchased at the factory, so are technically seconds. Although I believe the only difference is that the sole was never painted black. Personally, I think the lighter sole works better with the lighter shade of the uppers. That sole is definitely not a classic sole, it has a much more bevelled waist than the classic line. More akin to my JL Tudor boots than my City IIs. I believe the 2008s and all of the other annual models are made to prestige specs, and this pair fits with that.
     


  11. Geezer

    Geezer Senior member

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    Those wholecuts look very EG-like, including, though it hard to tell from the pic, the nail pattern in the heel.

    Bengal stripe: I really ought to know this but do the French Lobbs now have their own factory making all their shoes or do they still subcontract?
     


  12. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    At the time, EG who produced JLP shoes was in chronic financial difficulties. So, in 1994 it was decided that Hermes bought the freehold of the Edward Green factory in Oliver Street and the factory was renamed 'JL & Co'. The idea was that EG and JLP shoes were to be produced from the same factory. That worked well for a few years, then in 1997 (or so), Hermes wanted to close down the EG range.

    This led to a walk-out of John Hlustik (EG) who found new premises in Cowper Street. About half the staff moved with Hlustik, while the other half stayed with JLP. I believe to this day, there is still bad blood between the two companies.

    The John Lobb factory (formerly Edward Green)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012


  13. SteG

    SteG Well-Known Member

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    The URL of the pic contains the word "Grenson". My mistake. I thought they were JLs. You guys couldn't be fooled. :)

    @bengal-stripe:
    So, from 1982 (when JLP introdced RTW) to 1994 (when they created JL & Co.) JLP outsourced production of the RTW line to Edward Green? As some sort of license or subcontract business? OK, I just learned that Hermès aquired EG in 1990:

    "November 26, 1990. The French luxury goods company, Hermes SA, has added to its holdings in the shoe business with the purchase of a 51 percent stake in 100-year-old Edward Green Ltd. of Northampton, England."
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012


  14. Geezer

    Geezer Senior member

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    That is helpful, thank you. That whole EG vs JLP vs G&G thing can be quite confusing.
     


  15. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    First collection of JLP RTW (which I believe was produced by C&J) was much later than 1982, maybe 1988/89.

    Alan Flusser said Hermes acquired the freehold of the premises in 1994. Companies House confirms that.
    JL & Co registered the name in July 1994. Previous name was Edward Green and Company Ltd.

    http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/f50c70e8a571663c52ee3bccb39f4ede/compdetails
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012


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