Pedro García’s Spain
Fashion gives us access to the world; through brands headquartered in iconic centers of design and beauty across the globe, our wardrobes travel—and we go along for the ride. Today our tour guides are Pedro García designers Pedro García and Dale Dubovich, who invite you to share in the beauty of Spain and their spring collection.
Designers Pedro García and Dale Dubovich in Tenerife, where their spring campaign was photographed
We talked to García and Dubovich about walking stylishly all over the world, and particularly in Spain. In doing so we not only uncovered great tips for your international travel (even if it’s only virtual), but we also got great insight on the cultural factors that influence their style, and the deep history and tradition of Spanish-made footwear.
Thinking about wandering? Let’s go.
We love Pedro García’s heavily fashion-influenced take on comfort—you can walk for miles in these high-style shoes! What are some of your favorite international walking cities?
The best way to get to know a city is to explore it on foot. Bologna is a city we often travel to when we’re visiting our suppliers, and we love walking around it. Many of the city’s streets are covered by colonnades, so it’s always pleasant, even on rainy days. Madrid is another of our favorite cities. That’s where we have our store, on a small pedestrian street that’s especially peaceful and welcoming despite being right in the city center—in the Salamanca district, a lively area full of stores and restaurants.
We also return to New York regularly. It’s the city where we met, while we were studying at FIT. We love Northern European cities such as Copenhagen and Antwerp. One is a Nordic city while the other is Flemish, but both are places that live and breathe good design, and we find the lifestyle—rational, imaginative, simple—very attractive.
Casa de los Balcones in Tenerife
What are the best Spanish neighborhoods or cities for strolling?
El paseo in Spain and la passeggiata in Italy are deeply rooted traditions that relate to the climate and the character of each country. This is why their cities tend to have wide avenues, boulevards or seaside promenades, and our collections always include city sandals. Any of the destinations featured in our Made in Spain project would make a fantastic place for a stroll: Segovia, Asturias, Barcelona or Tenerife. Spain is an incredibly diverse country, where you can find some truly unique locations.
We want to spread the word about it with our series of Made in Spain newspapers. Each season we select a different part of Spain where, as well as shooting the collection and the campaign, we hunt out whatever makes it unique, unusual and inspiring. We’re very proud of Spain’s many different cultures.
The Pedro García flagship in Madrid
If you were to host a small group of stylish women—all wearing Pedro García, of course—and you wanted to take them on a walking tour of Alicante or Elda, where would you take them and what would they see?
The sunny climate and the proximity of the Mediterranean make Alicante and the whole of the Costa Blanca a very special area. There are countless places to visit, but Altea, a town of whitewashed houses with blue doors, and narrow cobblestone streets that wind down to the sea, is unique. So much so that poets, singers, painters, sculptors and ceramicists have made it their home. There’s also the tiny island of Tabarca, close to the city of Alicante. It has a population of less than 60; there are no roads, almost no motor vehicles, and its coastline is a marine reserve whose waters are protected. A boat trip to the island from Alicante, to eat one of the local rice dishes and spend the rest of the day there, is a must.
Pedro García shoes are so global and timeless; we feel like you could take them anywhere and they’d integrate into that city’s scene—from Paris to Tokyo to Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. What are your favorite cities for holiday and/or vacation? Where did you last travel, where are you hoping to travel next?
Our most recent trip took us on a tour of the cities of Alsace, in eastern France, close to the borders with Germany and Switzerland: Strasbourg, Basel and the towns on the banks of the Rhine. In summer we try to escape from the heat of Spain, so we travel to the North of Europe, an area we find very attractive. We also enjoy sailing, but living close to the Mediterranean coast we can do this all year round; winters are not usually cold, and there are even months when the temperatures are very pleasant. We like to improvise our vacation trips, making up our minds at the last minute without too much planning, so we don’t know what the next will be.
Behind the scenes at a Pedro García shoot
If we were to visit the town of Elda, and the Pedro García workroom where your shoes are made, where would we go for lunch or dinner? What is the local cuisine like?
We’d probably go to El Piripi, a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean food in Alicante. The food of the Spanish Levante, the area of southeastern Spain where Elda is located, has a strong maritime influence and is heavily based on fish and seafood. For example, the red prawn, a variety native to the Levante, is highly valued. Rice is another important local product. The Levante is where the famous Spanish paella originated, and in inland areas like Elda it’s made with rabbit and snails, in contrast to coastal towns where fish and shellfish are used. Other typical dishes are turrón de Alicante, a sweet nougat-like treat usually enjoyed at Christmastime made of almonds, and mistela, a sweet wine, made from the moscatel grape variety. Also typical of the area are salazones, a method of preserving food in salt. Mojama, air-dried and salt-cured tuna, and salted fish roe are two salazones that every visitor to the region should try.
Your commitment to the local economy means that all your shoes are produced there. What other goods are manufactured in the area?
Elda has shoemaking in its DNA. The town’s industries are all related to shoes and associated trades: there are heel makers, last makers, leather wholesalers and more. Practically the whole town lives from shoemaking. Our commitment as a brand is that all of Pedro García’s activity as a company should have a positive impact on the local economy. That’s why 100% of our output is produced by our artisanal shoemakers in Elda.
What do visitors typically take home as a keepsake?
We would suggest a very special type of fork designed for eating rice dishes, on which the tines are fused together halfway down so that the grains of rice don’t slip off. It’s like a cross between a spoon and a fork, and it’s ideal for eating an authentic paella with alioli, the traditional sauce made with olive oil, garlic and sometimes egg. To prepare alioli, cooks use a distinctive mortar, another unusual object that could make a nice souvenir. The mortar is a traditionally made ceramic bowl with a bright yellow glaze.
Pedro García shoes have a strong aesthetic and an easily identifiable style. It makes us think of certain directors, artists and musicians whose approach is similarly succinct and recognizable. Do you have a favorite Spanish filmmaker, writer, artist, band or musician that you can turn us on to? Someone whose work is perhaps as iconic and strong as yours?
It’s difficult to name specific names. For some years now, Spanish culture has found its place on the international stage. Not only actors, actresses, film directors, painters, writers, musicians or photographers, but also chefs, athletes and models. The Made in Spain concept is a success, and this is something we feel very proud of.
All images courtesy Pedro García
See also: our visit to Pedro García’s temporary showroom in Paris during Fall Fashion Week 2015
Shop: Pedro García