John Lobb Shoes
John Lobb’s story reads more like a Robert Louis Stevenson novel than a company history. Born a farmer’s son in the middle of the 19th century and lamed by an accident in his youth, Lobb nonetheless earned an apprenticeship with a shoemaker in his home of Cornwall before setting off to London on foot in search of opportunity. He found his way to Australia during the gold rush to outfit prospectors with hollow-heeled boots—hiding places for gold nuggets—and developed an excellent reputation for quality. Lobb founded his first business in Sydney, married, and started a family, yet his ambitious spirit was unsatisfied. He sent a pair of boots to the London Exhibition of 1862, where they won a gold medal; the next year he sent a pair of boots to Edward, Prince of Wales, who was so impressed by their quality (and perhaps also by their maker’s boldness) that he appointed Lobb a Royal Warrant recognizing the quality of his workmanship. Lobb returned to London in 1866, where his name has remained synonymous with excellence.
After John’s passing, the firm met hard times through the First World War, Great Depression, and Second World War. The company was facing disappearance until Eric Lobb, John’s youngest grandson, took over. Capitalizing on the quickly growing post-war American market, Eric's entrepreneurial vision reinvigorated the business while preserving its traditional culture and courtesy—even receiving renewed Royal Warrants from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. Today, John Lobb Bootmaker continues to produce timelessly elegant footwear with traditional handcrafting technique, instilling each creation with their founder's spirit of history, romance, and courtly adventure.