We see plenty of collaborations between sneaker companies and up and coming designers and artists, but it’s rare to see a corporate brand (owned by PVH Corp. NYSE:PVH!) such as Tommy Hilfiger mess with a young buck. But Tommy knows what’s up and has tapped footwear newbie and California native George Esquivel to create a capsule footwear collection for Hilfiger launching September 1st (pre-orders start today).
The two met when Tommy was George’s mentor during the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Program. Later, Esquivel designed a shoe for Hilfiger’s Fall 2013 men’s runway and it worked so well that they decided to work on something a little bigger for this season.
The duo focused on the brogue and the loafer since they are timeless, classic and versatile. But don’t expect your every day cookie cutter shoe. Esquivel has injected his colorful edge and West Coast vibe into the designs lending a bit of a youthful quality to the shoes.
The pairing works well – Tommy’s trademark prep and Esquivel’s signature quirky details including bright outsoles, bold stitching and antique leather washing work well together. The ‘Tommy Hilfiger + Esquivel’ logo has been burned into the leather using a hot iron and each pair is assigned a one-of-a-kind shoe number handwritten on the shoe and hangtag. Other well thought out touches include hand polished soles and heels; also each perforation is individually punched by hand and the logo is stenciled inside each pair.
Everyone knows about Mr. Hilfiger but to give a little background on Esquivel, he has been in the business for ten years, working closely with his craftsmen to create quality and original shoes. He is a proper American success story – Growing up, his father was in and out of jail and all of his money went to drugs leaving little money for quality clothes or shoes. To have founded a brand that bears his name is a true dream come true. He is a happy husband and proud father of three and when he is not in the design studio he is involved with We’ve Got Your Back, a program that feeds homeless children with filled backpacks. He also mentors young people at his workshop and works with various CFDA charities.
Talk about a step in the right direction…
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