When it comes to ordering a pair of bespoke shoes, almost anything is possible. Given the right amount of time (and an open checkbook), the top cobblers can make your dream pair of oxfords or boots, designed exactly to match your tastes and specific body shape, size, and stance. But even the best shoemakers are limited by engineering, and styles that truly push the boundaries of traditional shoe styles are few and far between. That doesn’t stop brands like John Lobb from testing the limits of what is possible when it comes to shoe design and construction—a dedication that the cobbler celebrates with its annual Artisan Series.
This year, the brand has achieved something unique—rolling out five classic styles (starting at $7,500) ranging from loafers to lace-up oxfords, all with an impressive twist: a completely seamless construction. Designed in a collaboration between the brand’s artistic director Paula Gerbase and the master craftsmen of its 152-year-old Bespoke Atelier, each of the styles have been crafted from a single piece of carefully selected leather, stretched to fit the foot using innovative new techniques. The result? Timeless shoes that, even when rendered in luxe, inky-black alligator skin, exude a seriously minimalist, edgy attitude. Each style—whether it be the black-tie-party-ready smooth leather loafer or the more casual suede oxford—comes with modern, slightly exaggerated heels, keeping the shoe sleek while adding an almost imperceptible extra bit of height to ensure that the wearer stands taller and looks slimmer once they’ve slipped them on.
Since the Artisan Series styles are produced through the Bespoke Atelier, the heel height, along with many other details, can be adjusted to exactly fit the rest of your wardrobe or lifestyle. The process for ordering a pair of the innovative shoes can take anywhere from six to nine months, giving John Lobb’s artisans ample time to ensure they have every aspect of your pair of shoes crafted perfectly—something we think is well worth the wait.