DESIGNER NOTES | Our Classics: Jules and Jil
These are my Jules Boots, one year in.
Before I launched Labucq, I'd had most of my success as a designer with ankle boots. They're something I made a lot of, something I understand, and that I wear myself. They're something I think I'm pretty good at. So I knew going into this that boots would be a big part of the business.
They are also a style where the production and materials make a big difference. The contrast between a well-made and badly-made ankle boot is perhaps more stark than in any other category of shoes. So I also thought, having chosen not to wholesale, that this would be a category where we could flex our better value (not that value is everything).
So - really wearable, everyday luxury boots.
I would use leathers which I knew would age well, and work meticulously on the last shape to make it just right. Making lasts is probably the most challenging, yet fun part about making shoes. Not only does a last determine fit and comfort, but with tiny, subtle details the character of the shoe can completely change.
Further, I would make a custom heel mold, signature to Labucq, erring in the direction of stability—so you could wear them a lot, season after season.
The following pictures show Alessandro (a last maker I have been working with for 8 years) buffing and sculpting a block of wood into the shape of a shoe. These photos were taken as we worked together on the beveled, slightly-squared toe shape for Jules and Jil.
After months of research and early development, I landed on two styles that I was already then calling my "core." These were Jules: a clean, slim ankle boot in supple lamb nappa leather, and Jil: an edgier lace up made in a shiny crinkled patent. Both boots would be made on the same construction, a comfortable 2.5" pitch with a slim welted front.
They've now been out in the world for almost a year, on my own feet and on those of our early adopters. I'm pleased to show you what mine look like after some 75 days of wear. I love mine and am excited to wear them again this winter.
Customer reviews have been great, too. This fall we're evolving them to include some new materials and colorways. We see the both Jules and Jil as being something we carry year over year.
We are confident there is no better black boot on the market, even those which are much more expensive. If you've just learned about us, this is a great category to start with.