To make really unique dress shoe designs isn’t really that difficult, to make really unique designs that are beautiful is much more difficult, and to make really unique designs that are beautiful and just as wearable as the classic models is very difficult. Few do this as well as John Lobb Paris.
You may not know it, but several of the most copied and spread new and special designs comes from the minds at JLP, and in several cases it’s models they’ve made for their anniversary Saint Crepin (French spelling) edition shoes they drop every year on Saint Crispin’s Day (the saint for shoemakers). One example we’ve seen a lot lately is the spiral wholecut which was the St. Crepin 2009 model, and the one pictured above was the 2008 edition, with decorative leather strings that make up the cap and and sort of adelaide. Among others Maftei has copied it, and I had Riccardo Bestetti make a version of it that came out really nice. Hard to beat the original though.