Esquivel Press

LA TIMES

LA Times Inside shoemaker George Esquivels Orange County Fashion Lab

George Esquivel has quietly carved out a name for himself as the premier shoemaker in Los Angeles: His handcrafted shoes command prices starting at $495 for ready-made suede oxfords to upward of $19,000 for bespoke crocodile boots. Each year Esquivel’s small team of craftspeople produces 3,000 to 5,000 pairs of footwear for a client list that includes Emma Stone, LeBron James, Laura Dern, Brad Pitt and Bruno Mars and retailers such as Fred Segal and Barneys New York. The 47-year-old designer, who served a two-year stint as creative director for luxury luggage brand Tumi, also has a proclivity for collaboration: His label has teamed up with the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, haute hat maker Nick Fouquet, The Beverly Hills Hotel and The Spare Room, the buzzy gaming lounge inside The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, for which he creates high-style bowling shoes.

 

Esquivel operates out of a nondescript warehouse-style office complex in Buena Park. Yet behind the generic exterior is an atelier that sustains the old-world tradition of artisanal shoemaking, now a rare trade in the United States. Premium leather and exotic skins are sourced from Italy, France and Spain, and each shoe panel is individually hand-cut, skived (a thin shaving of the leather to facilitate smooth folds) and stitched on site; then lining, buckles, zippers or elastic are sewn in. Completed upper panels are scrupulously massaged onto a last (“Too tight and it won’t stretch, too loose and it will look sloppy,” notes Esquivel) before a welt, soles and heels are built in from the bottom of the shoe. Specialty finishes—hand-burnishing, hand-tooling or personalized patterns, names and dates that can be burned into the leather with a hot pen—add another layer of character. Even the brand’s signature shoelaces are stitched by hand. Recycled corrugated cardboard shoe boxes have handles crafted from upcycled leather remnants, while shoe bags are sewn from unique deadstock fabrics.

 

Bespoke Esquivel designs (starting at $4,500) involve lasts adjusted to exacting foot measurements with multiple prototypes, as well as particular colors, heel heights, toe shapes, finishes, extra padding to accommodate special needs and personalized details. A handmade metal shoe horn, encased in leather and stamped with a monogram, accompanies each order.

 

The shoemaking process ranges from approximately six hours of manual labor for a women’s mule (the simplest style and currently the number-one seller) to up to 30 hours for an elaborately burnished hand-tooled bespoke boot. Burnishing alone can take up to six hours, Esquivel notes, pointing to shelves filled with stacks of binders that contain hundreds of proprietary step-by-step recipes to achieve varied colors and effects.

 

To read more about this article, click here: LA TIMES - Inside Shoemaker George Esquivel's Orange County Fashion Lab

FORBES

FORBES: Esquivel Footwear - Casual Sophistication Made in California

 

It is said that if you would like to know if a gentlemen is well dressed, then look down at his shoes. There is also a theory that any man who respects quality footwear is more than likely to achieve success because essentially, he understands the value of working his way up from the bottom. In a word, footwear articulates a man's style not to mention his social position.

 

The history of footwear is a long one. The first shoes were basically soles constructed from wood or leather. It pains me to think how uncomfortable not to mention unsanitary these first shoes must have been. At first they were secured by leather straps or the like that kept them from falling off. Luckily, we have surely come a long way since then. The reason leather had become popular is because it breathes. Henceforth, when footwear started to enclose around the foot, leather permitted the air to circulate. The need from the start had been durability and believe it or not, that is still a key feature for today's consumer. In a man's life time, it is estimated that we walk 120,000 miles give or take a mile. It is no wonder that Leonardo da Vinci called the foot a masterpiece of engineering as well as a work of art. In modern times, I have witnessed footwear being delivered in all shapes and sizes. But one thing is for sure; the rule still applies that footwear should have a direct relationship to the cut of the trousers. While black dress shoes have always been considered obligatory for suiting’s, these days interesting color waves and laces offer equal refinement if not superior style.

 

Welcome George Esquival. This is a brand that combines a modern aesthetic with a timeless sensibility, all with a Southern California, casual sophistication. Producing a limited quantity of hand-made shoes for select retailers and personal clients throughout the world, Esquivel is able to tell a story with each pair through signature hand finishes and a refined finesse developed over two decades of practice. Leathers are sourced from the finest tanneries in the world, and every line cut and stitch sewn by hand to create an unmistakable footprint. He has made shoes for everyone from Lebron James to Brad Pitt among many others.

 

Southern California sophistication comprises the essence of the Esquivel brand. You see, these shoes are luxury made for everyday wear. Creating each shoe individually allows for unique, one-of-a-kind styles to exude elegance and quiet sensibility. The art of handcrafting with leathers sourced from the best tanneries in the world is not something that is taken lightly. Every piece tells the story of a commitment to artistry that allows Esquivel to always transcend fashion traditions and reinvent the aesthetic for the current wardrobe. Gorgeous lines and polished textures are the hallmark of these shoes.

 

Click the following link to see the full article on forbes.com: Esquivel Footwear: Casual Sophistication Made in California

VOGUE

Gregory Parkinson and George Esquivel Made a Capsule of Vibrant Block-Printed Loafers Just in Time for Summer

 

Print-obsessed fashion editors likely miss the days of Gregory Parkinson’s ready-to-wear collections, which quietly ceased production in 2015. We remember his party dresses and daytime frocks for their mood-enhancing prints (often mixed together), custom textiles, and hand-finished details—and they look exactly, uncannily, like the dresses we wish we were wearing this summer. You can’t walk down the halls of Vogue HQ without seeing at least one girl in a vibrant floral dress, and Parkinson’s made a singular statement. (You can find a few of his dresses on The RealReal and eBay, but I’ve yet to see this Resort 2014 look; hit me up if you do.)

 

These days, Parkinson channels his passion for prints and textiles into a successful home range. In lieu of his former watercolor florals, his new obsession is Indian block printing: He works with a team of artisans in Calcutta to make every piece by hand, so each is one of a kind. For those unfamiliar with the technique, it’s somewhat self-explanatory. Large wooden blocks are hand-carved with specific designs, dipped into dyes, and stamped onto cotton, canvas, or silk row by row to create a repeat pattern. (Experts do it with razor-sharp precision, but in India, they embrace tiny imperfections because they reveal the hand.)

 

An appreciation for the handmade is something Parkinson has in common with fellow Los Angeles designer and friend George Esquivel—that and the 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, where they met as finalists. “I love George’s shoes—I have seven pairs,” Parkinson says. “And I love that he makes his products by hand here in California.” The respect is mutual—Esquivel owns several pieces of Parkinson’s home collection—so when Parkinson moved exclusively into textiles, a collaboration made perfect sense. Their new capsule is arriving just in time for summer and combines both designers’ signatures: Parkinson’s block-printed canvases translated to Esquivel’s classic, hand-stitched loafers and oxfords.

 

Click the following link to see the full article on vogue.com: Gregory Parkinson and George Esquivel Made a Capsule of Vibrant Block-Printed Loafers Just in Time for Summer

ROBB REPORT

Paris Saint-Germain Teams Up with George Esquivel on a Footwear Collection That’s Sure to Sell out Fast

 

 

Fresh off the heels of inking a €600 million (about $706 million USD) deal with Brazilian striker Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior—one of the top players in the world—the juggernaut French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is gearing up for one of its biggest seasons to date. Now, the team’s well-heeled fans can get in on the action, as the 2018 World Cup favorite has teamed up with footwear designer George Esquivel to launch a capsule collection of shoes.

 

 

The highlight of the collection is the navy leather Elkhart boots ($1,050), which feature red, white, and blue laces—the colors of the PSG uniform and, of course, the French flag. Esquivel designed the inky-blue style modeled here by the team’s star Brazilian defender, Marcos Aoás Corrêa—known to the world as simply Marquinhos—with the legacy of great Parisian artisans in mind, like heritage trunk maker Moynat, expertly combining classic French craftsmanship with the aesthetic of modern American street style. The mix of the two has so far proved to be an instant hit; the 10 limited-edition Elkharts that dropped in May sold out instantly, a teaser of what’s to come.

 

Click the following link to see the full article on robbreport.com: Paris Saint-Germain Teams Up with George Esquivel on a Footwear Collection That’s Sure to Sell out Fast

FOOTWEAR NEWS

These $1,500 George Esquivel Boots Are for the Fashionable Soccer Fanatic

 

Footwear designer George Esquivel is adding a French touch to his offering with the debut of a capsule collection in collaboration with Paris-based soccer team Paris Saint-Germain. Founded in 1970, the team has won a record number of French Cups.



The collection will debut at Colette in Paris tomorrow, with the Elkhart boot for men and women in hand-burnished blue. It retails for $1,500. Team member Marquinhos will attend the event.



“It’s been an amazing experience working with the team,” said Esquivel. “We met through a mutual friend last summer when [the team] was playing on the west coast, and I fell in love with the brand, which reflects the Parisian sense of elegance in a very modern way.” 

 

Favien Allegre, merchandising and brand diversification director of Paris Saint-Germain, added: “We are delighted to present this new fashion collaboration. It’s the beginning of a long story between our two brands. We both share the values of excellence and the importance of detail. In the recent years, the club has tied a close relationship with the U.S. thanks to three consecutive summer tours, and we are proud to take if further.”

 

Following the launch at Colette, additional styles will be rolled out this fall for U.S. distribution. They will be available in the U.S. at A’Marees in Newport Beach, Calif., and esquivelshoes.com.

FOOTWEAR NEWS

What Inspires George Esquivel

 

He designed his first shoe exactly 20 years ago, and today, George Esquivel keeps that black-and-white spectator in his design studio to remind him how far he’s come.

 

Back then, a Mexican cobbler produced the look. Now, Esquivel has his own Los Angeles workshop, where he creates his eponymous collection from start to finish.

 

And as creative director of Tumi, a position he accepted last year, Esquivel works on the luggage line in the same space. The two collections have informed each other, according to the designer. For example, he has worked to introduce more leather to the luggage pieces.

 

 

The 2009 Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund nominee also recently unveiled a sandal and summer chukka for women as part of the Wear LACMA project, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The looks were inspired by Felipe Santiago Gutiérrez’s painting “Portrait of a Woman With a Marigold” from 1876, and they are sold through Net-a-porter.com and Thelacmastore.org.

 

 

Here, in his own words, Esquivel talks about his creative process. “For fall, I just wanted to play with color. And I went back to basics. I was looking at designers and artists, and I thought I needed a season to just play with some classics. It was more about my mood. I wasn’t really inspired by a movement.

 

 

And actually, I got tired of seeing so many of the colored soles and shoes that were just so ‘out there.’ For me, fall ’14 was rebellious and, like, ‘I’m tired of that. I don’t want to see that. I’m not going to do that.’

 

 

The hand-painted wingtip and cap toe are my interpretations of classics, but they’re also very California at the same time — they’re not so structured and perfect. There’s a little bit of edginess to them, but not so much where it’s in your face or aggressive. I’m past that phase now. I like subtle contrast, sometimes a little more than others, but always developing. The painted lines of the wingtip are [a good example of] how I take the classics and reinterpret them.

 

 

That style started out for men, and then so many women were requesting it through our made-to-order catalog that I incorporated it into the [fall collection]. Barneys New York ordered the wingtip and is getting a women’s last and a little-softer toe.

 

 

Because I have my own shop here, if I have an idea, I can develop it. [When I design], I draw directly on a last. There’s no point for me to sketch. If I want to change a toe shape, I will take a last and literally change the toe shape. Then I’ll sketch on the last how I want the shoe to look.

 

Click the following link to see the full article on footwearnews.com: What Inspires George Esquivel

FOOTWEAR NEWS

The Story Behind George Esquivel & Nick Fouquet’s Fall Shoe Collab

 

Shoe designer George Esquivel and Venice, Calif.-based hat maker Nick Fouquet teamed up to create a fall ’16 range of men’s shoes produced in Esquivel’s Orange County factory. Scroll down to see the collection. 

 

But first, the two men talk with Footwear News about on the steps that went into blending their laid-back California aesthetics. 

 

Step 1: Igniting the Conversation

Esquivel and Fouquet met while both participating in the “Wear LACMA” project this year, where the art museum enlisted 19 local designers to create one-off pieces. “We started talking, and it evolved easily,” said Esquivel. “Nick, like me, is a craftsman. He works with his hands.” Meanwhile, Fouquet was excited by the challenge of making his first foray into footwear and was immediately drawn to Esquivel’s hands-on manufacturing process. “I love things that have a story and a soul,” he said. 

 

Step 2: Gathering Inspiration

After initial talks, Esquivel and Fouquet found inspiration by looking to their own shoe collections. “When I came to George, I had on these really old pair of shoes I found in London,” said Fouquet. “They were new when I bought them, but over time they developed an interesting patina, so we reinterpreted that.” Riffing off the idea, the two jumped right in and started experimenting — no sketches involved. “What’s the point of sketching if I can actually go downstairs and physically touch samples?” Esquivel asked. 

 

Step 3: Diving Into Design

Esquivel and Fouquet decided to focus on a streamlined silhouette with handmade flourishes. “We wanted the design to be simple, but the process to make them is where the craftsmanship came through,” Esquivel said. Their efforts resulted in a lace-up boot and oxford shoe, crafted with hand-cut soles and hand-punched perforations. The Californians combined their skills more easily than expected. “I was surprised at the similarities between how we work,” said Esquivel. “The process for shaping hats is very similar to shaping shoes. He starts with a block, and I start with a last.”

 

Click the following link to see the full article on footwearnews.com: The Story Behind George Esquivel & Nick Fouquet’s Fall Shoe Collab

FOOTWEAR NEWS

Get a Piece of Beverly Hills Hotel History With Shoes its Iconic Leaf Wallpaper

 

Footwear designer George Esquivel is taking a step back in time with the launch of a shoe and accessories line in collaboration with the famed Beverly Hills Hotel.

Esquivel is using the hotel’s iconic banana leaf wallpaper as inspiration for a mule and coordinating small leather goods, available at the hotel and online.

 

The wallpaper was designed by famed decorator and fashion designer Don Loper in 1942, who played himself in an episode of “I Love Lucy,” in the 1950s. It features large bright leaves, and waving banana palms, and over the years became a symbol of the hotel.

 

“The Beverly Hills hotel has always been a symbol of style and old Hollywood charm for me,” said Esquivel. “It’s a dream to be able to create something to celebrate that lasting joie de vivre.”

 

Added Christoph Moje, hotel manager, “Our signature banana leaf print continues to make generations of guests nostalgic for the Beverly Hills Hotel. If anyone doubts the emotional attachment one can have to wallpapered hallways, they have not met our guests, and this stylish new collection will really have sentimental value to so many.”

 

The collection is produced in Esquivel’s California atelier by a team of craftsman. The mule retails for $680; wallet at $220, and clutch at $430.

 

This is not the first time the wallpaper has inspired a footwear collection. The Koio luxury sneaker brand has used the leafs for a series of men’s and women’s styles also available at the hotel.

 

Click the following link to see the full article on footwearnews.com: Get a Piece of Beverly Hills Hotel History With Shoes its Iconic Leaf Wallpaper