John Lobb wants its customers to take a walk — a seven-block stroll north, actually — to its new home.
After 12 years at 680 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, the luxury shoemaker tonight will celebrate the grand opening of its new boutique at 800 Madison Avenue. The 700-square-foot shop on 68th Street, designed by Rena Dumas, is steeped in luxury but feels comfortable at the same time.
“Moving closer to the Upper East Side is better for us,” said Renaud Paul-Dauphin, chief executive officer of the Hermès-owned brand. “It’s a good neighborhood and more elegant.”
Paul-Dauphin added: “New York is a key city for us. We have lots of American customers who have found their way here.”
The store sports a similar design as the company’s other major boutiques around the world. “It’s very sleek and allows for the proper presentation,” he said, pointing to the assortment of shoes perched on yellow shelves throughout the store. “We think of it as a small theater. The shoes are on the balcony and the customers are on the stage.”
Ready-to-wear shoes start at $680 and go up to $1,900. Bespoke models start at $7,400. The store also has a one-of-a-kind pair with gold soles and buckles for $24,000. The rtw shoes are made in England while the bespoke models, which now account for around 10 percent of the business, are created in Paris. “It’s the heritage of the company,” he said, “and we have a faithful customer who buys them. We have 160 years of history and that’s such an advantage for us.”
In addition to shoes, the shop also showcases the company’s new collection of small leather goods called Twinstitch. The wallets, business card cases and other items incorporate both suede and leather and use the same double stitching as the shoes. “We like the idea of small leather goods being comfortable,” he said.
This is the second freestanding John Lobb store in the U.S., along with Costa Mesa, Calif., and there are 23 boutiques around the world. “We have a strong position in Europe,” he said, noting that the company recently entered the Middle East and China as well.
Paul-Dauphin said early next year the second floor of the Madison Avenue store will be transformed into a U.S. showroom for the brand, which is being reintroduced at Barneys New York for spring and also sells at MrPorter.com. Even so, he stressed the plan is not to expand aggressively in the U.S.: “The policy of John Lobb is not to open too many doors, but to look for just the right spots.”
Paul-Dauphin said the company considers itself a “local business,” attractive to men in the neighborhoods in which it operates. “Men don’t buy shoes when they travel,” he said. “And they like privacy. This store is discreet, and that’s part of the value of the brand statement.”
He said the company is doing “extremely well” despite the worldwide recession and attributes it to the customers’ quest for value. “They don’t want to waste money,” he said. “They like things that are sustainable, and you can keep resoling the shoes and keep them for a lifetime.”
Tonight’s event will feature renowned French illustrator François Avril, who created a New York street scene for the company to celebrate its relocation. Guests will be treated to autographed copies of the print.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews