It is difficult to imagine how a natural disaster could become a blessing for some. But that is exactly what has happened to John Lobb, the Hermes owned bespoke shoe maker after Japan was hit by an earthquake and tsunami. Many of the affluent Japanese are leaving the country and are buying up shoes before hitting the road. John Lobb’s Osaka Store has seen a significant upsurge in its sales post tsunami.
Their four stores in Tokyo are closed and it is not very clear when they will reopen for business. The discerning customers are travelling to Osaka to buy their shoes. The new line from John Lobb “Spirits of Capitals” could also be the reason that is attracting customers from Tokyo to Osaka. The new line has been created as celebration of world cities. Eleven teams were stationed in eleven Capitals to create a unique pair of shoes that would embody the spirit of the city. The project was called, “around the world in 22 shoes”.
It took almost a year from the time the design teams visited their designated city and the Spirits of the Capitals to became available at the stores. You can almost recognize the city that has inspired a particular design. The Art Deco Balmoral-style oxford in black kid leather is from Paris. The low Derby boot in Barenia calfskin and khaki canvas is from London. The platform moccasins have been inspired by Taipei. The prices for the bespoke models range from $6,500 to $10,000.