What do you like about the banana leaf pattern?
The banana leaf print is so recognisable, I see it as a true icon and feel honoured that I’ve been allowed to play around with the print and rework it for this exciting new collaboration.
How did you become a designer?
I’ve been into fashion for as long as I can remember. I knew from a young age that I wanted to design things and hone the skills of a craftsman. I became obsessed by bag and shoes so it was a natural progression for me to specialise in these areas and I haven’t looked back.
What’s your first fashion memory?
I vividly remember that in 1983 and I was earning $1 an hour mowing lawns for a neighbour. I saved up my wages and bought a pair of burgundy Chuck Taylor High Tops, which cost me $20. I really loved those shoes.
How do you feel about this latest collaboration?
I’ve work with many high-profile brands but this feels more about the experience. I really appreciate how guests come to the hotel for a unique experience, which leads to great memories. I like the idea that the bags I’ve created will help to trigger all those wonderful memories. The bags will also accompany their owners on other cool adventures, which will create lasting memories for them too. It feels a very special thing to be a part of.
What can you tell us about your new atelier in Los Angeles?
I love our new home. We opened the atelier and workshop, known as ‘Esquivel House’, at the beginning of 2020. It’s been a dream in the making for the past eight years so I couldn’t be more thrilled. We’ve had such a wonderful response from customers and I can’t wait to have a proper launch and ‘house-warming’ party when everyone can gather together again safely.
Tell us about your approach to craftsmanship
It’s always good to hear when customers tell us that they are drawn to us by our one-of-a-kind craftsmanship and beautifully hand-cut shoes. I find it really reassuring that the quality of everything we do is really appreciated. This also leads to lots of one-off requests, which are a real joy to work on. I love it when other people’s creativity and ideas inspire my own, and together we and create something really extraordinary.