California-based George Esquivel operates his namesake brand from his atelier, where he takes a hands-on approach to his designs, working closely with his team of skilled artisans using time-honored traditions that pay tribute to the art of handcrafting.
Indeed, handcraftsmanship, quality and tradition are at the heart of Esquivel, a brand that combines a modern aesthetic with a timeless sensibility—all with an elegant but relaxed, classic, Southern California feel. Producing a limited quantity of hand-made shoes for select retailers and personal clients throughout the world, Esquivel is able to create unique pairs 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. The techniques he employs ensure an aging process that captures the personal patina of its owner.
Below, we spoke with the designer about what’s inspiring his current collection and why his boots are made for travel.
NAME: George Esquivel
CITY: Los Angeles
COMPANY: Esquivel Designs
WHAT’S INSPIRING YOUR COLLECTION NOW:
My current inspiration is travel. Like most of us, our travel has been limited these past few years and I’m anxious to start traveling for pleasure. I know it sounds a bit cliché to say travel, but I honestly do really miss all the amazing places I have not been able to visit during Covid. That longing has influenced my designs quite a bit in my current and upcoming collections. I miss the unique colors, sights and sounds of Paris, all of Mexico, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Milan, London and NYC
These days my muses have been feelings; the feelings of sitting in cafes or restaurants or window shopping and taking in the sites in foreign cities. In the past I had a group of real/fictional men in mind that I designed for. Since the pandemic, I have been thinking less about the men wearing our products and more about where they would be while wearing our products.
FAVORITE MUSIC TO DANCE TO IN ESQUIVELS:
My favorites are good rock’n roll bands, Foo Fighters, The Killers, Kings Of Leon. I also enjoy listening to musicians like Michael Kiwanuka, Amos Lee, Lord Huron. And one can never go wrong with playing a record from Marvin Gaye, Pete Yorn, Amy Winehouse, Otis Redding, The Stones or Buena Vista Social Club .
DESTINATION FOR THE GUY WEARING YOUR SHOES:
I think these boots are perfect for many of life’s adventures. They are perfect for LA, NYC, Mexico City, Paris, Tokyo, London and Milan. I have worn a version of this boot in all of those cities. In my opinion, the boot is very multifunctional and perfect for travel. It can take the place of a dress shoe and be paired with a suit or—should one need a bit more than a pair of shoes—“Chuck” has got you covered.
FAVORITE ACCESSORIES TO PAIR WITH THE COLLECTION:
At the top of my list is my watch from our just launched collaboration with Tutima. It’s a limited edition to 25 pieces, dual time zone which is perfect for travel. When I travel, I have a bit of an obsession of knowing time back home.
For a few years now, I have been wearing by buddy Nick Fouquet’s hats. I keep having to order more hats, as my kids keep “borrowing them”.
I love wearing scarves, I’m partial to Cinabre out of Paris. Alex the founder and I have been friends for several years, and when I opened our Atelier/showroom we did a small capsule collaboration.
I’m not one for much jewelry, but a few years ago I became quite fond of a particular ring by Will Hanigan Pearls. It’s an oversized pearl clutched by the sharks jaw. I wear it most every day.
I consider scents an accessory, I always wear my favorite Le Labo scent Labdanum 18. I enjoy the scent so much that I give the tester bottles as small gifts.
FAVORITE CLOTHING TO PAIR WITH YOUR SHOES:
A pair of cotton twill pants with just the right leg length is my favorite item to pair with our “Chuck” boot. I’m partial to a certain style that Dockers makes. They are only available in Europe; the fit and fabric combo is perfect for my lifestyle. Paired with a t-shirt and either a denim jacket or sport coat and the outfit is complete for work or after-work activities.
FAVORITE SOCK BRAND:
My favorite sock brand is Falke. I have been wearing them for roughly 12 or so years; the quality is superb. They come in different sizes and they are Left and Right. I’m such a big fan that I now stock them at our showroom. People typically purchase one or two pairs, then they come back or email us requesting to purchase several pairs.
My Current uniform is my watch, a pair of navy blue chinos from Docker’s (Euro Edition), t-shirt, and—depending on what my day holds in store—a sport coat or jacket for cooler weather. If it’s warm out, I’ll wear a black Oxford button down. One of my hats, a ring, of course a pair of our “Chuck boots”, and I always carry one of our Totes. Currently it’s our LAX Tote in a Grey pebble grain with tan handles.