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Why Lobb Paris Bespoke Is The $#!+

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. luk-cha

    luk-cha Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Perhaps you find it reflective of the "fading" that Maxwell/Fosters applies to the finish of some of their shoes???

    when i was the at the begining of the month they said it was call bleaching, they also said they dont recomend to do it as it damages the leather. most of what you see in the store is due to sunlight as some of the sample are from the fifties
     
  2. medwards

    medwards Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I did have a short visit with Simon Bolzoni of Fosters/Maxwells while he was in Washington and had an opportunity to see some examples of this "fading." While certainly some of Fosters shoes acquired this look as a result of time and sunlight, they indeed apply a special technique to achieve the effect should a customer desire it. That said, some points should be made. First, one shouldn't overstate the role this technique plays in Maxwell's offerings. Most models are very traditional and finished in the classic manner. Second, those examples which do employ this fading (I believe there were three that Mr Bolzoni had with him) are less ostentatious than one might imagine. While they are not to my personal taste, I can imagine the effect when well executed could create an intriguing and attractive shoe. I take it that achieving this is not easy and can only really be done on shoes of superior leather quality (which would seem to be counterintuitive). Moreover, the visual impact is more than just that of the color of the finish. For instance, one pair was a wingtip monk with broguing on both the toe and strap (there was an interesting discussion of the merits of such a monkstrap generally elsewhere on this forum). The fading changed the focus of attention so that the shoe actually appeared a bit less busy (I know this seems counterintuitive as well) inasuch as it draws attention away from the design on the strap and uppers and creates more focus on the toe. All in all, I can see why some individuals would find this approach appealing. I just do not happen to be one of them.
     
  3. luk-cha

    luk-cha Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I did have a short visit with Simon Bolzoni of Fosters/Maxwells while he was in Washington and had an opportunity to see some examples of this "fading." While certainly some of Fosters shoes acquired this look as a result of time and sunlight, they indeed apply a special technique to achieve the effect should a customer desire it. That said, some points should be made. First, one shouldn't overstate the role this technique plays in Maxwell's offerings. Most models are very traditional and finished in the classic manner. Second, those examples which do employ this fading (I believe there were three that Mr Bolzoni had with him) are less ostentatious than one might imagine. While they are not to my personal taste, I can imagine the effect when well executed could create an intriguing and attractive shoe. I take it that achieving this is not easy and can only really be done on shoes of superior leather quality (which would seem to be counterintuitive). Moreover, the visual impact is more than just that of the color of the finish. For instance, one pair was a wingtip monk with broguing on both the toe and strap (there was an interesting discussion of the merits of such a monkstrap generally elsewhere on this forum). The fading changed the focus of attention so that the shoe actually appeared a bit less busy (I know this seems counterintuitive as well) inasuch as it draws attention away from the design on the strap and uppers and creates more focus on the toe. All in all, I can see why some individuals would find this approach appealing. I just do not happen to be one of them.

    he too, i like the Lobb pataina in the origional post but i imagine it will just all crack if this shoe was actually worn[​IMG]
     
  4. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Senior member

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    Thanks for another wonderful post! The heel seems to be a tad higher, may be 1/8" to 1/4". The black ones look closer to St James than Paris in a more restrained way. Is another post on the JL factory coming?

    Lobb St. James uses gold, accompanied by three Royal Warrants post-1983 and two Royal Warrants before that, at least since the fifties. Prior to the 50s I have no idea. Anyone...?

    According to bengal, JL St James was demoted to 2 Royal Warrants recently. But there're still 3 warrants displayed in the store front last time I passed by.
     
  5. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    How many of you could tell the difference between those Lobbs and a pair of Loakes from 10 feet?. Be honest now.

    Yeah, yeah, I know quality etc etc, but....

    If they look like "perfection", should you be able to tell the difference without examining them or not?

    If a Loake lasts a dozen years or more, and I have some that have, and they are comfortable for you and look not a lot different at a glance, why do they get bagged so much here?


    Maybe its just the philistine in me (Sometimes I worry that AAAC's Cruiser and I are brothers at heart!), but I too was wondering how many people would be able to discern, at normal viewing distance, any appreciable difference between Manton's JLP black punch-cap bals and my A-E Byrons.
     
  6. tlmusic

    tlmusic Senior member

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    Maybe its just the philistine in me (Sometimes I worry that AAAC's Cruiser and I are brothers at heart!), but I too was wondering how many people would be able to discern, at normal viewing distance, any appreciable difference between Manton's JLP black punch-cap bals and my A-E Byrons.

    The heel is the giveaway. At even ten feet, one can see how the heel of an Allen Edmonds Byron hangs way out the back. I am not an expert, but I believe the design is called 360 degree welting. English oxfords usually do not have this feature.

    BTW, yesterday I wore a pair of Black AE Byrons, and was very jealous of the Lobbs.
     
  7. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Maybe its just the philistine in me (Sometimes I worry that AAAC's Cruiser and I are brothers at heart!), but I too was wondering how many people would be able to discern, at normal viewing distance, any appreciable difference between Manton's JLP black punch-cap bals and my A-E Byrons.
    Does the number of people able to discern at normal viewing distance the difference between the two shoes have any bearing on their qualitative differences?
     
  8. spectre

    spectre Senior member

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    Does the number of people able to discern at normal viewing distance the difference between the two shoes have any bearing on their qualitative differences?

    Exactly my point.
     
  9. medwards

    medwards Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    JL St James was demoted to 2 Royal Warrants recently. But there're still 3 warrants displayed in the store front last time I passed by.

    John Lobb (St. James's) holds two Royal Warrants -- to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. They have changed their website and some of their printed material accordingly. I haven't been past the shop recently, but I am surprised that they had not made that change as well.
     
  10. well-kept

    well-kept Senior member

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    John Lobb (St. James's) holds two Royal Warrants -- to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. They have changed their website and some of their printed material accordingly.

    Have they changed their insole covers? Three-warrant Lobbs may be future collector's items.
     
  11. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Does the number of people able to discern at normal viewing distance the difference between the two shoes have any bearing on their qualitative differences?
    Exactly my point.

    Actually, I'm saying that both you and JLibourel do not recognize the differences, not that the differences cannot be seen from a reasonable distance.
     
  12. vitaminc

    vitaminc Senior member

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    Does the number of people able to discern at normal viewing distance the difference between the two shoes have any bearing on their qualitative differences?

    Or are you just worshiping the shoes because it's John Lobb bespoke?

    Self esteem/epeen issues aside, are you honestly able to tell the difference between a pair of John Lobb bespoke to AE PA's shape/design and a pair of simple AE PA?
     
  13. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Self esteem/epeen issues aside, are you honestly able to tell the difference between a pair of John Lobb bespoke to AE PA's shape/design and a pair of simple AE PA?
    I absolutely can, and the differences seem so obvious to me that I wonder how anyone who claims to be interested in shoes could miss them.
     
  14. Deluks917

    Deluks917 Senior member

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    My one pair: [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I was thinking to myself that If I ever owned a clothing company I would probably rip off that shoe. Very impressed.
     
  15. vitaminc

    vitaminc Senior member

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    I absolutely can, and the differences seem so obvious to me that I wonder how anyone who claims to be interested in shoes could miss them.

    If a bespoke shoes is made into the same design and similar lasts but yet looks different, wouldn't they be failing their jobs?

    So besides the quality of the leather, what else is different from 3 feet away?
     
  16. well-kept

    well-kept Senior member

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    I was thinking to myself that If I ever owned a clothing company I would probably rip off that shoe. Very impressed.

    It's not rip-offable. That's the point.

    Forget the ten-foot test. The distinctions are apparent at a greater distance because they are not differences of degree. They are differences of spirit and of essence. It's the difference between a woman possessing true and intrinsic beauty and another, perhaps lacking those qualities, who has tried to make herself up to resemble what she isn't. If you can't discern THAT difference from a city block....
     
  17. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If a bespoke shoes is made into the same design and similar lasts but yet looks different, wouldn't they be failing their jobs?

    So besides the quality of the leather, what else is different from 3 feet away?


    The shape. And also the design. Yes, the basic design is the same, a punch cap is a punch cap. But that shoe has an upper clicked from a unique pattern just like a suit. I can't explain it in words, but if I could show you in person, with my shoes and an AE, I could make a case for how the upper pattern is subtly different and nicer on my shoes.

    Then, of course, there is the fit and the construction, which are worlds apart.
     
  18. vitaminc

    vitaminc Senior member

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    Agreed on the fit and construction but I probably have much more to learn in terms of appreciation. [​IMG]
     
  19. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    maybe it's the engineer in me, but I think that the trees are more interesting than the shoes. The first thing I'd do if I had these shoes was try the trees in all my RTWs to see how well/badly they fit.
     
  20. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    maybe it's the engineer in me, but I think that the trees are more interesting than the shoes.

    OK, you are a dork. If you can make me seem well adjusted, you are a BIG TIME dork.
     

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