The Shoe Snob Blog

September 17, 2012

Written by , Posted in News

John Lobb x Paul Smith = Absolute Greatness!

I know that I have been on a roll with my ‘How To Become A Shoe Designer’ thread, but as many people may not want to become one, nor really care to read about it, I figured I would give it a week’s rest and instead touch on another subject that I find to be quite an appealing project within the shoe industry. So, that being, for those of you whom may not know, September 1st marked the day that one of the greatest collaborations the shoe industry has ever seen made itself available at John Lobb stores around the world. The only question is: ‘Why has it taken this long?’ Scratch that, there is another question: ‘Why does it not happen more often?’ Time and time again, I feel that if there were more collaborations, great ideas would occur; beautiful products would be produced; customers would be happy to see fresh stuff; and the collaborators would ideally make lots of money! Yet, I feel that most companies would most likely turn their noses up to these ideas for whatever reasons, whether it be egotistical, competitive, or just plain snobbery. But yet when it does occur and by two giants nonetheless, great things are created, as shown here!

This is the accurate color

Accurate colors

So, what you are seeing here is the brilliant design eye of Paul Smith (hence the beautiful colors) with the exquisite shoe construction of John Lobb. Two giants in their own right, came together to produce some of the coolest shoes this year will offer, and in my opinion, one of the best derby models the world has ever seen. But that comes as no surprise as John Lobb RTW is one of the only companies that can make a derby that gives as much pleasure to my eyes as seeing a well designed oxford! And that’s hard to do, as derbys are not my favorite shoe models, nor are even close. Nevertheless, I am truly happy to see this uniting of brands, as too often a shoe company will get stuck in producing only what they know or feel comfortable doing. This sometimes creates a lack of novelty within a brands’ offering. Not that I think it did here, as John Lobb RTW is always coming out with beautiful pieces and Paul Smith is nothing close to unimaginative, but I do believe that it added an element to both brands that would have never existed without them getting together. And that is what progress is all about!

After seeing these lovelies, I am already excited to see what they will come up with next, that is if there will be a next time. I guess that it depends on if all of you go out and buy a pair! Anyway, all I can do is hope that this breakthrough paves the way for more classic shoe companies to start collaborating with designers and/or other shoe brands. I personally would love to see Tom Ford collaborate with one of the top makers in the industry, think Corthay or Gaziano & Girling. What could be created with these great minds in the same room? Greatness in footwear, that’s what! So for those of you that like what you see and wish to partake in owning a pair, you will need to find yourself entering a John Lobb RTW shop at one of their many locations, found here.

  • You know you’re onto something refreshing in the world of shoes when purple is the most conservative colour!

    Love the matching shoe trees.

  • Alex B

    I saw these on the JL website a while back. Frankly, there’s some utter crap at Paul Smith, but adding this splash of colour to JL quality, is fine by me.

    I want the oxfords – one of each!

  • Gentleman90

    I like the title you created for this post,Colors and Patinas are ABSOLUTELY EPIC…….I personally admire Paul Smiths Designs,and John Lobb is certainly Fantastic…..actually as I was reading the article and getting to the point that you suggested a collaboration between Tom Ford and a Genius Shoemaker,I was thinking about the Exact same thing…..anyhow thank you Justin; for such a Refreshing post and Superb quality Photos…Good Luck My Friend………

  • Snapper


    The idea of a partnership can possibly lead to great things as, no doubt, would be attested by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer when they got together in 1884 and also by Charles Rolls and Henry Royce when they joined forces in 1904.

    Best regards,

  • Benjy – Yea, the matching shoe trees was very clever indeed…

    Alex B – yea, I take one of each of the oxfords and the derbies….!

    Gentleman90 – Always glad to hear that you enjoy what I write about. Thanks for always commenting!

    Snapper – Quite right you are sir!