This story originally appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.
With a female artistic director, Paula Gerbase, in house, it’s a natural evolution for storied men’s shoemaker John Lobb to reintroduce its women’s ready-to-wear collection (bespoke women’s shoes were always available in its Paris atelier, and Gerbase tells us that women have been buying the men’s shoes in smaller sizes for years).
Handmade in Northampton, England using a 190-step manufacturing process, each elegant shoe is expertly crafted and durable, a welcome surprise for women who are accustomed to resoling shoes after just a few wears. Gerbase says: “As a woman, I have never been able to find the quality of raw materials, attention to detail and respect for the process in women’s footwear as I have experienced within menswear. The quality is simply not there.”
Using its archive of incredible bespoke women’s shoes as inspiration, John Lobb introduces six styles with traditional details including hand-wheeled soles and decorative nail heel patterns. The most fashion-forward shoe is the Willow, a low boot with three buckles, and you’ll find loafers, Chelsea boots, single-buckle shoes, reverse Jodhpur boots and, of course, an Oxford. These styles will look just as good paired with fashion’s current 1990s revival as they will with a sharply tailored suit.
John Lobb Willow boot, $1,550, available at John Lobb in New York, +1 212 249 3092, johnlobb.com