After 23 years at 800 Madison Avenue, John Lobb has moved its first stateside store down the street to a new address.
Now located at 700 Madison Avenue, the British bootmaker’s new NYC outpost just so happens to be next door to its parent brand Hermès, which moved its New York home to 706 Madison last year. The new shop is double the size of its former home and features an expanded range of services in an effort to “reintroduce” itself to the city, the company said.
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For John Lobb CEO Philippe Gonzalez, the decision to renew the company’s presence in New York came after he saw a transformation on the famed street following the height of the pandemic.
“The global pandemic reshaped luxury retail on Madison Avenue between 57th Street and 65th Street,” Gonzalez told FN in an interview. “It was important for us to move to this ‘golden strip’ to present the evolution of the brand and expose it to a wider audience. This new store is our biggest in the world.”
The executive, who took the helm of John Lobb at the end of 2018, noted that the store was designed by French architecture firm Ciguë, which debuted the new concept this location emulates in Paris and Beverly Hills in 2021. The shoe brand’s stores in Shanghai, Dubai and Berlin have been updated with this concept as well.
“Our flagship store in Tokyo on Marunouchi Street will be relocated and renovated introducing the same concept as NYC next year,” Gonzalez said. “The opening is planned for early April. This will be followed by the opening of a new location in Kyoto in May 2024, which will be a John Lobb ‘Maison’ inside a traditional Machiya house.”
As for the store’s design, a built-in walnut and matte metal central structure serves as a way to both ground and divide the space. According to the brand, this element, which will be present in every John Lobb store, aims to recall the modernity of a science fiction spaceship while combing the aesthetics of a welcoming front desk in a familiar hotel. Or, as Gonzalez said, the structure “takes the shape of a large airstream mobile home” in this new NYC store.
On one side of the metal structure, consumers will find the ready-to-wear collection of John Lobb footwear. The other side, however, features all of the label’s special services including care and repair, personalization (also referred to as “By Request”), and bespoke.
According to Gonzalez, the company’s repair and resole services are provided by its factory in the English town of Northampton — and consumers can bring their shoes needing a refresh to the store’s bar area. The bespoke service, considered the foundation of the brand, is given its own private salon inside the store. Plus, John Lobb’s “By Request” area, which is nestled in between the other services, houses numerous leather samples, color charts, soles, choices of different metals for buckles and more.
Rounding out the design of the store include shelves inspired by sculptures from Uruguayan artist Gonzalo Fonseca and sofas by French designer Christophe Delcourt.
In celebration of the store opening, John Lobb has revealed a new work boot. Introduced for the autumn-winter 2023 season, the new “Peak” boot is a Norwegian-welted lace-up style that features lug soles and padding at the collar of the shoe.
Looking ahead, Gonzalez is optimistic about the future. “John Lobb is on a very dynamic path,” the executive said. “Our new retail concept, store openings, the evolution of the range and above all, the attention to detail and care for high quality, makes the brand shine and is desirable more than ever.”
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