25 October 2011

George Frazier: Lobb or Peal?

From 1993's, 'Esquire Gentleman' 25 Best-Dressed Men (Living or Dead) by Alan Flusser

Flusser has Frazier in custom Peals but the letter from John Lobb in London confirms Frazier's payment plan mentioned in, Another Man's Poison. Whether this is at the exclusion of custom Peals, who knows.

John Lobb letter regarding Frazier's monthly payments (click image to read)

In 1981, Flusser's review of John Lobb hints at a drop in quality, rigidness over the house aesthetic and a long turnaround.

"Lobb shoes used to be considered without peer, but in recent years the firm has lost many of its older workmen and the product has suffered. It is still an excellently hand-crafted shoe, but in my opinion it doesn't quite compare to the shoes made by Lobb, Paris, its French brother. The London shop, in addition, is too inflexible about styling. It wants the shoe to look the way it wants, and it also wants six months to make it."
Alan Flusser, Making The Man, 1981

Did Frazier have both Peal and Lobb make his shoes? I'm not sure he could afford both. He was always having problems with money. Then again, maybe this is why. Or, was Flusser reluctant to mention Lobb due to perceived issues of quality. Who knows. Who cares. I just wanted an excuse to put up that letterhead.


C.Sharp said...

The letter say Frazier came to Lobb in 1965. 1965 was the year Peal delivered their last pair of custom shoes.

C.Sharp said...

RDC: How large is the wardrobe?

JPF: Not huge. He believed that a good suit should last almost forever. I'd say 10 suits; 10 sports jackets; 10, 15 pairs of Peals and Lobbs [bespoke shoe-makers in London]; alot of ties. Alot of the same ties. He must have had 25 to 30 black knit ties. And alot of chevron-checked [Macclesfield-designed] ties. If he found something he liked, he'd buy alot of them. Like, eight-feet long winter scarves. He had some summer clothes. Though not very many summer suits. Not many summer jackets. Maybe three of each. Alot of sweaters.

No Hype said...

Sorry to be off topic... but:

JAB sale today... buy three pairs of cedar shoe trees for $30 (free shipping).

Makaga said...

That is a great letter head, thank you for sharing.
Do you think an individual (as opposed to a corporation) could have a decorative letterhead on personal stationary?
...Or is that an area where less-is-more?

C.Sharp said...

Here is the link to the interview I posted http://junto.blogspot.com/2007/07/frazier-interview.html

tintin said...

C. Sharp- Thank you! I've misplaced the book you did on GF and shoulda checked your web site.

Makaga- The gravitas associated w/ the letter head speaks to the tradition of Lobb. I'm not sure any one person is that august.

Peruna said...

C. Sharp's reference to the discontinuance of custom work by Peal in '65 corresponds with an Esquire column by GF I recollect from the late '60s. It referred to Peal's longstanding reputation in the U.S., but dismissed the brand as not really having been bespoke for several years. I infer he had moved on.

He also savaged the old Nihleen firm in the same column. I think their shortcoming was declining to make bespoke trees for their shoes.

C.Sharp said...

Tintin, I believe I have accidently confused you. I was simply trying to say I did not cite my source which came from Richard Carreño's blog, I wish I could take credit but can not.

ADG said...

Frazier was broke. This I know.

R.I.P. Frazier

tintin said...

Peruna- I have a source and can secure the article if I know the date of the issue.

C Sharp- Whoops. Sorry. Maybe Richard C. can weigh in here.

ADG- I find I have more in common with him everyday.