In our Craft of Fashion series, we ask top designers to pick one look from their spring/summer 2011 collections and explain the inspiration behind the item, how it was fabricated, and—of course—how to wear it. This week, George Esquivel tells the story behind his saddle shoe.
For this shoe, I was inspired by the artist Egon Schiele. He was anti-establishment and frustrated by the conservative notions of the art world at the time. So he sought his own form of expression by taking a raw look at the exposed body. Like Schiele, I try to reveal the natural textures of the leathers and present a raw look at the exposed body of the shoe. I want to offer unexpected styles and combinations like this saddle shoe, which is traditionally a summer shoe, but I wanted to reinvent the concept with dark leathers.
We hand-burnished the leather, which requires layers of dyes and creams to be applied and removed—sometimes this can take up to four to six hours, depending on the color we are trying to achieve. It actually starts out with no color at all, resembling almost a flesh color. When we're done with the dyeing, it turns into something completely different, either marble brown and blue or smoke gray and black.
—By George Esquivel