It now John Lobb shoes are a symbol of British tastesa and fknapsackzskoy elegance, a sign of art to live fully, nenjoying the beauty at every turn. And the history of this brand began in a completely different place and much more prosaically.
Hide and Seek - Unique Selling Proposition
John Lobb was born in 1829 in the family of a farmer in the town of Tywardreth in England. He was trained in the workshop of one of the London shoemakers, and then went to seek luck in Australia. And there at that time a gold rush flared up, and the most burning issue for Australian gold collectors was the issue of withholding mining. They needed to find a place in their clothes where they could hide the freshly mined golden sand. This place was supposed to be hidden from prying eyes, but at the same time easily accessible.
John Lobb found a beautiful and simple solution to this problem - the ingots should be hidden in heels, and for this it was only necessary to make them hollow.
The "portable safe" was such a successful find that a young shoemaker from Melbourne very soon received a gold medal for it at the London World's Fair.
PR through royalty
Those who just could not help but become interested in the authorities. However, not so much from a practical point of view (the cost of living of the British kings did not provide themselves with nest egg heels), but with an aesthetic one.
Prince of Wales, the future king Edward VII (1841-1910), to whom Lobb presented a pair of his boots, was delighted with the design and functionality of the shoe. He found in it a magnificent balance of the proportions, lines, shapes and nuances of the leather. And since the prince not only loved to dress very dandy, but was also a fashion arbiter of his time, John Lobb boots very soon became a must have item in the wardrobe of the London beau monde.
True, it was not easy. Recall that it was in this era that the idea of a gentleman and the bodily canon of the Victorian era developed: the body of a gentleman is an obedient tool that he owns as a professional - at ease and with pleasure. A gentleman is free and always has a special elegance, which hides upbringing, that is, a consciously structured personality structure, and - as a result - self-esteem.
It is logical that in 1863, Lobb received the right to put the famous sign of royal permission on his business correspondence and on the window of his workshop in Australia, where it was indicated that he was "the official master of his royal majesty the Prince of Wales."
John Lobb today remains the official shoe of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and his Royal Highness the Prince of Edinburgh, as well as most of the royal family of Great Britain. Three royal permissions over the storefront of John Lobb are witnesses to his fidelity to tradition.
Make a store a men's club
The proximity to the royal monarchs was exactly what was needed for a victorious return to London, where Lobb opened a store on Regent Street. Dirty boots and their gold dig owners are a thing of the past. At present, there are British aristocrats, lords, diplomats, famous writers, virtuoso singers, as well as officers seconded to the far borders of the British Empire, Indian Maharajas and American millionaires.
Voters come to the store to chat with the Shah of Iran, Churchill or Chamberlain. Businessmen are taking turns sitting on chairs in the workshop, hoping to have a quick word with Andrew Carnegie or Emperor of Ethiopia. Ambitious writers and aspiring journalists are looking for meetings with George Bernard Shaw, Rudyard Kipling or Joseph Pulitzer, the founder of the famous award in the field of journalism and literature.
Curious passers-by are pressed to the window to at least see Verdi, Caruso or Fyodor Chaliapin from the corner of their eyes.
It is said that in those days gentlemen could hardly guess the brand of the tailor who sewed the costumes of their friends, but at first sight they knew which of them bought John Lobb shoes. The bend of the vamp, the simplicity of the cut, the quality of the patina, the elegance of the tongue - all these details indicated only one person.
Now, flipping through the pages of John Lobb’s client magazine, one can easily trace the history of London society, politics and culture of that period. And if you come to the store, then this story can also be felt: the wooden blocks of all celebrities are registered and carefully preserved. By the way, only VIPs receive such an honor, pads of lesser-known customers are stored only about twenty years after their last order ... (For reasons of confidentiality, we do not name our customers. We can hint that they are very famous and respected people.)
Get closer to customers where they feel comfortable
At the end of the 19th century, the transport revolution made the life of high society stunning. People rushed from one capital to another in luxurious cars, on transatlantic steamboats, and later on cars and planes, sometimes alone, sometimes with households. Sometimes they left for a week, sometimes for several months. Naturally, they wanted to preserve all the advantages of their position in any city, wherever they had to stop.
In 1902, John Lobb opened a store in Paris for the convenience of his wealthy customers, so that those who preferred the dazzling brilliance of Paris to the London fog would have the opportunity to buy luxurious shoes where they feel comfortable. In 1920, the store moved to Faubourg Saint-Honore at the Champs Elysees. A chain of celebrities went there, and the clientele became even more international than in London.
How to survive the war - shoes on coupons
In 1940, the war led to the mass departure of Parisians from the capital. The collection of pads, which included thousands of copies and was very dear to the Lobb family, was carefully hidden in Sher Justin, the senior workshop of John Lobb. In 1945, the collection was returned to Paris. Many customers died during that terrible war, and a shortage of raw materials forced those who survived to bring leather for the boots themselves, for which they paid government food stamps.
After the war, George William Dickinson, the hero of the French Resistance, took over the responsibility for doing business.
He continued the tradition of restraint and elegance in shoes that appealed to the new generation of stars from Yul Brinner to Philippe Noire, Harry Cooper (who liked to take a nap in the fitting room), Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra and Robert von Karayan. The workshop at Faubourg Saint-Antoine, where John Lobb shoes are custom-made today, stores the pads of these great men, carefully signed and numbered.
Named models - listen to your customers
The ability to listen to someone else's opinion is a great thing. Perhaps it is in this capacity that one of the secrets of John Lobb's success is hidden. In any case, now the most famous models of shoes bear the names of their "creators" -buyers. The best buyers, who have become passionate fans of the brand, leave their names on models as a legacy. In 1950, Aquilino Lopez became the progenitor of elegant moccasins with a hand-stitched insert in the lift. This model has become one of the most popular John Lobb shoe collection. The Perrier model came from a pair of opaque suede derby shoes made from genuine deerleather for Mr. Perrier, the inventor of the scandalous corset. "William", the famous model of "monastic" boots with two buckles, and to this day remains the most frequently copied model of John Lobb. They are named for William Lobb, a descendant of the founder of the house and former director of John Lobb Paris.
We draw conclusions - which led the brand to success. Unique product - times. Competent promotion - two. The ability to follow your target audience is three. The ability to flexibly approach methods and forms of payment in the conditions of a decline in consumption is four.
History in Figures
1829 Mr. John Lobb was born in the town of Tywardreth, Cornwall (Great Britain).
1850 Mr. John Lobb went to Australia in search of gold.
1852. Invents the famous hollow heel boot in which gold miners hide their valuables.
1863. Becomes the official shoe master of the Prince of Wales.
1866 d. Returns to London and opens a workshop on Regent Street.
1902. The first John Lobb store opens in Paris.
1945. Famous model William ("William") is developed.
1976. Hermès acquires the John Lobb brand.
1981. A collection of finished shoes was developed.
1990-2001 Boutiques are opening in European capitals.
For your information:
In 1976, the most famous brand was bought by the French group Hermes, and the store was moved to the legendary Hermes address at 24 Faubourg Saint-Honore, where it remains to this day. Is this an accident? Lovers of mythology may remember that of all the ancient gods, Hermes was the only one who wore sandals ... In the fall, October 25, Catholics celebrate the Day of St. Crispin, the patron saint of shoemakers. Since 1996, John Lobb has been celebrating this day with an exclusive model that is produced until the next St. Crispin's Day.
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