Diary

A personal and behind the lens documentation of my work, both personal and commercial. Inspirations and explanations about what makes me the photographer I am today.

Ben Benoliel

John Lobb - FOWEY 2015 BOOKLET - Northampton Factory Visit

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to shoot at the John Lobb factory in the very famous shoe making town of Northampton. I was amazed and impressed by the level of detail and standard of craftsmanship involved in making every pair, there are 190 steps involved in each shoe! I was there to specifically document the process involved in the making of the 'Fowey' limited edition shoe for aw15.

Fowey is the John Lobb limited edition shoe for 2015. This single eyelet ankle boot is crafted from two pieces of museum calf leather, with the primary seams sewn entirely by hand. Crafted on the 8695 last, it features an elegant almond shaped toe and sits on our Prestige sole which can be identified by its finely wheeled welts, hand sculptured waists, tapered heels and rounded sole bottoms. The complexity of this boot is such that it takes six weeks of highly skilled craftsmanship to create a single pair, with only 1000 being produced, each coming with its own unique number stamped to the sole. Fowey comes supplied with a specific shoe tree and special edition shoe box.

It is very rare to actually see your photographs printed physically so I was delighted to hear that the images would be used in a  special booklet that came with each pair of the 'Fowey's' so that the customer could see exactly what went into making their new shoe. The stock that JL have used in the booklet works perfectly giving the book a real tactile and rich feel.

Watching the artisan's of Northampton work was so interesting, they are true craftspeople and their skill really was breathtaking. During one particular process we watched a guy making his own thread ! He rolled yarns of cotton together and waxed them until it became one piece, he then threaded this onto a single bore hair and proceeded to hand sew the toe box on the special edition Fowey boot, using the bore hair rather than a needle illuminates the extra with at the threading hole ! Amazing detail that really makes this product special.

Thanks to John Lobb for an unforgettable day. The images taken will be used in print for a booklet that will accompany a special edition 'Fowey' boot to detail the special procceses invloved in its creation.