John Lobb is taking the “go big or go home” approach to its new Manhattan store. The Hermès-owned men’s footwear brand has repositioned itself on Madison Avenue to open its largest store to date and debut its new concept. FashionNetwork.com spoke with CEO Philippe González at a recent press luncheon, which included a tour of the new store, a tram ride, and a piano-serenaded New York deli-style lunch at Bemelmans Bar, and in an email interview email about what’s in store. literally and the brand’s retail plans.
For starters, the brand moved further south to Madison Avenue, a retail trend that Gonzalez says is on the rise, from 67th and 68th 62nd streetNorth Dakota and 63third as brands look to capture more foot traffic on the upscale 57th Street strip.
“The global pandemic transformed luxury retail on Madison Avenue between 57th and 65th Street. “It was important to us to move to this golden strip of Madison to showcase the evolution of the brand and expose it to a broader audience,” Gonzalez said of the new prime location at 700 Madison Avenue.
The store, designed by architecture studio ciguë in Montreuil, France, recalls space-age innovation in the form of a “capsule” design and draws inspiration from Uruguayan artist Gonzalo Fonseca, whose organic stone sculptures become shelves display cabinets and custom-designed curved sofas. by French designer Christophe Delcourt that add a cozy and modern atmosphere.
According to González, the ‘capsule’ concept encapsulates the world of John Lobb and includes new ready-to-wear styles such as the Peak casual suede hiking boot exclusive to the New York store, a care and repair concierge service, a personalization By Request service and your tailor-made service.
“The workshop is at the heart of the John Lobb experience. The capsule is a module designed as a mobile unit, capable of occupying any place where it is deployed. It can take various forms, depending on the cities and cultures where it is established. “This cabin is designed as a large piece of furniture that contains all the necessary tools for the brand experience,” González explained, expanding further: “In New York City, the capsule takes the form of a large mobile home with draft . When opened, it attracts the eye, reveals the savoir-faire, stages and organizes the services. It is made of stainless steel on the outside and brilliantly reflects its surroundings, while its interior, all covered in wood, is warm and welcoming.
The welcome also comes from the store’s shoe rack. “Paul, our master shoemaker, will welcome our customers in a comfortable, intimate and exclusive space in the store. He will take measurements of their feet. These measurements will sculpt the customer’s last on a piece of wood. The desired upper will be cut. in the best leathers and sewn manually,” said the CEO, adding: “After a fitting, which is like the Haute Couture process, a pair of Bespoke shoes will be delivered, handmade in our Bespoke workshop in Paris.” The manufacturing process takes 3 to 6 months, depending on whether there is a last. Most ready-to-wear John Lobb shoes cost less than $2,000 with custom styles in the $7,000 range.
González says the Big Apple is a prime location for John Lobb. “We have a long and loyal customer base. The city is elegant and refined. It is not only a window to the US but also to the entire world. The city is a very inspiring platform. New York is a city where you enjoy discovering walking, hence the launch of two styles of the Peak boot, a set of the classic work boot made of extra flexible Nubuck and built with a lightweight rubber sole to accompany our customers on any 24-hour trip.
While New York is officially launching the new concept, the CEO said a recent store in Los Angeles on Brighton Way at the corner of Rodeo Drive also offers full John Lobb services. And there is more to come. “Next year, our flagship store in Tokyo on Marunouchi Street will be relocated and renovated, introducing the same concept as New York. He added that the opening is planned for early April, followed by the opening of a new location in Kyoto in May 2024. , a “Maison” by John Lobb in a traditional matcha house.
New store concepts as the brand approaches 50 yearsth anniversary in 2026. For context, John Lobb has been part of the Hermès Group since 1976. It has a Bespoke workshop in Paris, a By Request customization service, a ready-to-wear footwear collection produced in its Northampton workshop in the United Kingdom. United, and a retail network spanning 19 global stores and a wholesale business. With the same name and perhaps “soul”, it is not to be confused with John Lobb Ltd., a family business catering to its local bespoke clientele of St. James’s Street in London.
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