Visiting George Esquivel’s spiffy new atelier Downtown Los Angeles feels a bit like stepping right into a Wonka world for footwear. With the cobbler’s group of expert artisans quietly crafting leather-based soles and uppers at pristine stations inside Esquivel Home, it’s exhausting to not attain for one among Esquivel’s iconic gold metallic boots and scream, Veruca Salt-style, “Don’t care how, I need it now!”
Esquivel is a favourite among the many very-well-heeled in Hollywood, sports activities and enterprise, and he has the “lasts” to show it. Foot-shaped molds in a nook of the all-white house are marked in Sharpie with names of his illustrious shoppers: Brad Pitt, Janelle Monae, Emma Stone, Madonna, LeBron James.
George and I’ve identified one another for years, ever since we met for a Forbes profile in 2014, and his private story is as head-turning because the thigh-high bespoke boots his shoppers adore him for. He grew up in Orange County, dwelling in motels and navigating 13 totally different faculties, with a drug-addled father who finally went to jail for homicide. George discovered a path ahead in footwear, hand-tooling boots for rock ‘n rollers and finally for distinguished sports activities and leisure clients and boutiques similar to Barneys and Colette in Paris.
At this time, Esquivel is as joyful as I’ve ever seen him. He and Shelly, his spouse of a few years, welcome appointment-only company to their Arts District location as in the event that they have been internet hosting a day soiree. On the way in which in, guests stroll by a customized mural by Los Angeles graffiti artist Retna. Inside, champagne bottles are uncorked and George giddily exhibits off the classic stitching machines (additionally painted white) and heel pressers which are a part of the Esquivel magic. Though a lot of the model’s work nonetheless will get completed out of a manufacturing house in Orange County, there’s loads to see right here: leathers being distressed to the patina of an vintage steamer trunk; wingtips are hand-stamped and painted by hand; Esquivel’s signature cloth shoelaces are minimize and completed earlier than your eyes.
Customized boots and footwear at $1,000 and up are the wow gadgets however I like George’s new Esquivel X line, a extra earthly ready-to-wear sneaker launch with proceeds that profit the nonprofit Giving Children Hope.
You’ll additionally discover candles by Lola James Harper, Nick Fouqet-designed customized hats, and George’s personal assortment of journey equipment for The Beverly Hills Hotel. There are Paris-made scarves, too, and classic jewellery items by Will Hanigan Pearls and Cheryl Dufault.
Look nearer and also you would possibly discover a kind of Wonka golden tickets. Esquivel Home makes you are feeling fortunate like that.