On Spanish style influencer Gala Gonzalez’s summer agenda: travel to 18 destinations, eat authentic Mexican food (in Mexico), lots of skin moisturizer, and French electro-pop. Throughout this, the Amlul blogger will be packing Gala sandals, designed by Pedro García. Her namesake shoes are just the latest in an ongoing collaboration between Gonzalez and fellow Spaniards Mila and Pedro García. “I have a deep personal relationship with them,” Gala says. “Also, I’m truly happy to spread a Spanish brand worldwide!” It’s an obvious fit for the fashionable brunette beauty who favors comfortable flats and fun times. “I feel very identified with their ‘think party, wear daily’ philosophy,” she says.
Over the last few years, Pedro Garcia creative heads Pedro García and Dale Dubovich have become our unofficial ambassadors to Spain. Always ready to list the hot spots and point us toward good beaches and great eats, they’re obviously passionate about their roots and eager to share.
A behind-the-scenes shot from the fall issue of Pedro Garcia’s Made in Spain,
their magazine-style lookbook (all images courtesy Pedro Garcia)
Of course, the real proof is in the shoes—and how those shoes are made. Pedro Garcia, the brand, takes a lot of pride in their made-in-Spain ethos—so much so that their seasonal magazine is called Made in Spain. The most recent edition took them to the industrial port of Bilbao to explore, discover and share the city and the fall collection.
We went one step further and traded a few emails with Pedro and Dale to get inside the inside scoop.
We all know that toting along a bouquet of flowers, an extra bottle of bubbles, and maybe a crusty baguette goes a long way with holiday hosts, but you know what goes a long way with fellow guests? A few good questions. Holiday Season Party Tip #9: Ask people about themselves. Be interesting and interested. Get folks to open up—about their lives, their work and the year we’re all about to put behind us.
Pedro Garcia, easing down the road; all images courtesy Pedro Garcia
We chatted up Spain-based designers of Pedro Garcia and Dale Dubovich of Pedro Garcia (via email of course) about the year we’re about to put behind us, and the one that’s cueing up as we speak. Here’s what they had to say about nabbing a coveted fashion award and some very ambitious #lifegoals.
There probably isn’t a single designer working in fashion today who doesn’t want to lay claim to the idea that he or she knows exactly what women want, but Pedro García designers Pedro García and Dale Dubovich really have it on lock.
Especially when it comes to shoes, women want uncompromising style and comfort. With a direct emphasis on both of those things, the made-in-Spain brand delivers in those categories—season after season.
We visited their Paris showroom to take a look at what that means for spring 2016.
Earlier this spring, Pedro Garcia brand ambassador Andreas Kurz set off for a tour of Nordstrom stores where he would meet with fans of the made-in-Spain line and help them customize new looks from a special bespoke selection of four styles and five colors. We asked Kurz to take pictures and keep notes from his travels because, hey—it’s the next best thing to tagging along.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know and what they know. Especially when it comes to traveling and visiting new places, which is why we asked fashion photographer and Puerto Rico native Clarke Tolton about the islands on the occasion of our new store there. And it’s why we got Pedro García and Dale Dubovich to give us the scoop on their favorite ways to stroll in Spain. Likewise Chloé creative director Clare Waight Keller, who told us where to eat, shop and gaze at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Image via LA Times feature on Olivia Kim’s Seattle
The LA Times is on the same insider-access wavelength; they just interviewed Nordstrom’s director of creative projects and Pop-In curator Olivia Kim about her latest shoppable microcosm, Magic Hour, and then they asked her to point to Seattle’s best tofu bowl and vintage finds. Which she was, of course, happy to do.
Pack your overnighter, friends. A weekend in Nordstrom’s hometown is practically planned and plotted via the newspaper’s “On the hunt for food, fashion and sights in Olivia Kim’s Seattle.”
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.
During Paris Fashion Week, The Thread stopped by the Pedro Garcia showroom, where we found our buying team hand-selecting the most essential shoes for spring.
The Art of Buying: When you’re in the business of buying shoes, you must be 10 steps ahead of the trends while also possessing an astute awareness of the styles, shapes and colors women will desire and want to wear. Our buyers get to the sole of the matter with the Pedro Garcia team.
Be inspired to write your own fashionable tale this fall with the alluring styles of Pedro Garcia.
Statue of Chic: Pedro Garcia ‘Rowan’ Bootie, a sleek silhouette makes for an even chicer entrance.
Step Inside: Pedro Garcia ‘Sira’ Boot, this perforated open-toe boot will take you from summer to fall with ease.
Blue Belle: Pedro Garcia ‘Rosette’ Pump, get noticed with this sexy slim heel in cobalt blue.
What exactly goes into the creation of a Pedro Garcia shoe? Get to the sole of the matter in our Behind the Seams feature with Mila and Pedro Garcia.
Photos courtesy of Pedro Garcia
Every family has traditions, and for three generations, the Pedro García clan has artistically produced fine footwear while redefining luxury from a “Made in Spain” point of view. This family of shoemakers draws upon its heritage and uncompromising craftsmanship to continuously keep the design-conscious one step ahead of the pack.
So what exactly goes into the creation of a Pedro García shoe? From designers to patternmakers, 89 people are involved in the process between conception and the time the shoes actually grace your feet. We sought out two very important people who lead this unique design process—brother-and-sister duo Mila and Pedro García—and talked shop with them from their Elda headquarters in Alicante, Spain.
THE THREAD: For many women, shoes are the ultimate objects of desire. What is it about a pair of Pedro García shoes that so enchants women of all ages and demographics?
PEDRO GARCÍA: For us, as we often say, our shoes speak for themselves. The strength of our styles is their design; that is what makes them so peculiar and desirable. Besides, we have always thought that seductive design can be perfectly combined with comfort. That mixture is what makes a style a definite must-have.
You represent three generations of shoemakers. Did you always want to get into the family business? How have you both expanded the brand’s identity and aesthetic?
PG: As children, neither of us pictured ourselves in the family business, but in fact, it was a very natural process. I started with summer internships at the factory, which were a necessary experience for me to decide whether or not I wanted to continue with the company. After came the academic training period in Milan and the FIT. At that time, Mila already had beginning traveling to the U.S. with our father and helping him in practically every aspect of the business. Then, in 1991, our father invited us to join the company in its next epoch. Building a business of the scale we wanted required a huge effort and investment from all of us, but we agreed to undertake the venture together. We had to build a brand and—more specifically in the design field—we had to create a design identity for the brand we were building. Dale (my American girlfriend) and I have been at the helm of creative direction since 1992, and we had to start from the foundations. Mila has always been the director of the company, in charge of marketing especially. We have always had very clear business goals, and although communication between us has always been very fluent, we think that from the very beginning, we knew that each of us had a specific working area in which the other one shouldn’t interfere.
Pedro García ‘Mariel’ Sandal
In December, you released the book Pedro García: Three Generations of Shoemakers. As you were putting together this memoir on your father’s life, which chapter or section in the book moved you the most?
PG: Now that it is finished, we realize that putting this book together has been important not only for my father but also for us. Our father played the most important role in making our family business last. He inherited the business from our grandfather and had the talent and the power to make it bigger and stronger, and then he knew how to handle the transition from the first generation to us, the third one. That is what this book has made clear for us, and maybe this is what moves us the most: to realize how our father has helped us and how inspiring his example has been. How he has made us more than just designers or shoe manufacturers. He has shown us what it means to be an entrepreneur, and shown us the risks involved as well. He has helped me and Mila to think big.
As well, the chapter when, in 1965, he decides to travel to New York alone, only accompanied by the samples of his collection packed in ten suitcases, certainly is particularly touching for all the family.
Pedro García ‘Mika’ Sandal
The phrase “Made in Spain” is associated with your brand’s DNA. How do you fuse Spanish culture into your designs? Do you agree with the statement that creativity defines a nation’s strength?
PG: Yes, our brand is clearly and unquestionably associated with the “Made in Spain” mark. But we don’t think we can define our design as particularly Spanish. We must design while keeping the international market in mind. Our brand is Spanish because we are a Spanish family of shoemakers that owns a Spanish company and—mainly—because our shoes are manufactured in Spain, exclusively in our home area: Elda, Alicante, a shoemaking city with highly skilled artisans. To be “Made in Spain” implies for us a strong sense of responsibility toward “our people.” We aim to have the business make a positive impact in our area, and that is why 100% of our production is manufactured in Elda. That’s also why “Made in Spain” appears in our logo.
Pedro García ‘Pamela’ Sandal
Tell us about the creative direction for your spring/summer 2013 campaign and collection. What unique design elements are standouts for this season?
PG: The mood of our collection for this spring and summer is “exuberant and flirty,” as we say in our catalog. It is enthusiastic, positive, optimistic—good-humored, in a way. It has some obvious winks and references to the Flirty ’50s, like in the printed wedges and the cutouts of the Tropical Castoro group, or in the Patent group, where we use very contemporary colors or elements like the metallic spike heels to reinvent classic styles and give them a new vintage appeal. But one of the big standouts this season is the use of electrifying neon colors mixed with micro-crystal in our flat sandals. The Patent collection is also presented in some vibrant neon colors too. That increases the party-party mood. Even our vachetta leather sandals appear this season as multi-straps, with plenty of buckles and on top of serrated rubber soles or mixed with python. It’s all kinds of playful and excessive.
In fact, we design in a very organic, fluid way, meaning that we evolve from one collection to the next one in a sort of an ongoing manner, but we always seek to find something new and exciting that makes the new styles look really different and unique. However, there are certain traits or materials we have been using for a long time and that have become part of our design identity. We call them our icons: Swarovski crystals on flat sandals, anatomical soles on high heels, rough-hewn finish on some materials like vachetta leather or satin.
Pedro García ‘Galatea’ Sandal
What does a pair of shoes say about someone’s overall style?
PG: Shoes say a lot about a person and her or his style. But what they say depends on many things: the rest of the outfit, the occasion, what the woman or the man feels or wants to express. But mainly, it depends on the eyes of the person looking at them.
Pedro García ‘Yoshi’ Smoking Slipper
L to R: Lana del Rey, Kristen Stewart and Drew Barrymore are just a few of the brand’s celebrity fans.
When it comes to celebrities, who is the ultimate Pedro García girl?
PG: We feel honored when we see celebrities wearing our shoes, but we don’t consider ourselves a red carpet brand. What’s really satisfying is when celebrities have actually purchased a pair of our shoes for themselves.
Slip into a chic pair of Pedro García shoes from the spring ’13 collection.
Photos courtesy of Pedro García