Inside George Esquivel’s new Los Angeles studio, Shoemaker-To-The-Stars


To visit George Esquivel’s chic new workshop Downtown Los Angeles is a bit like stepping into a Wonka world for shoes. With the shoemaker’s team of skilled craftsmen quietly crafting leather soles and uppers at immaculate stations inside Esquivel House, it’s hard not to reach for one of Esquivel’s iconic golden metallic boots. and shout, to the Veruca Salt: now! “

Esquivel is a favorite among the very affluent in Hollywood, sports and business, and he has the “tough guys” to prove it. Foot-shaped molds in a corner of the all-white space are marked in Sharpie with the names of her illustrious clients: Brad Pitt, Janelle Monae, Emma Stone, Madonna, LeBron James.

George and I have known each other for years, since we met for a Forbes profile in 2014, and her personal story is as compelling as the bespoke over the knee boots her clients adore her for. He grew up in Orange County, living in motels and sailing 13 different schools, with a drug addict father who was ultimately jailed for murder. George found a way forward in footwear, hand tooling boots for rock’n rollers and ultimately for clients and prominent sports and entertainment boutiques such as Barneys and Colette in Paris.

Today Esquivel is as happy as I have ever seen him. He and Shelly, his wife of many years, greet guests by appointment only at their Arts District location as if they were hosting an afternoon party. At the entrance, visitors walk past a personalized mural by Los Angeles graffiti artist Retna. Inside, the champagne bottles are uncorked and George stuns off the vintage sewing machines (also painted white) and heeled presses that are part of Esquivel magic. While much of the brand’s work is still done in a production space in Orange County, there’s a lot to see here: from aged leathers to the patina of an antique steam trunk; the wing tips are stamped and hand painted; Esquivel’s signature fabric laces are cut and finished before your eyes.

Custom boots and shoes $ 1000 and up are the wow items, but I love George’s news Esquivel X Line, a more down-to-door version of ready-to-wear sneakers whose profits benefit the association Give hope to children.

You will also find candles by Lola james harper, custom hats designed by Nick Fouqet and George’s own collection of travel accessories for The Beverly Hills Hotel. There are also scarves made in Paris and vintage jewelry from Will Hanigan Pearls and Cheryl Dufault.

Take a closer look and you might find one of those Wonka Gold Tickets. Esquivel House makes you feel lucky like this.


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