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Friday, April 4th 2014

Family Affair: Talking Shoes and Tradition with Pedro García

Pedro García shoes—best known for their comfort and sophisticated, edgy designs—have been around for three generations. After nearly a century, the brand’s signature aesthetic and consistent quality continue to offer fresh, contemporary collections each season. We spoke with Pedro García and Dale Dubovich about the brand’s evolution and the inspiration behind its experimental designs.

These Sofia Peep Toe Perf booties have an eclectic feel.

Shopbop: Since your grandfather founded Pedro García in 1925, what has changed most meaningfully about the brand, and what has remained the same?
Pedro García & Dale Dubovich: Pedro García is a family firm of shoemakers in the most traditional sense of the word. Although the brand now experiments with materials and techniques, and is considered a contemporary designer brand, it has regarded itself as a family shoemaker since 1925. Over three generations, each of the company’s directors has introduced changes, but the most obvious was the brand’s entrance onto the international stage, which took place when the current directorial team took charge in 1992. The third generation of Garcías has given the brand its design strength and consolidated its global identity. This has permitted the company to establish itself in Europe, North America and Asia.

Pedro Gracia sneakers with frayed seams.

SB: Signature attributes of Pedro García shoes include rough-hewn finishes, frayed satin, and Swarovski crystals. How does the label come up with its iconic designs?
PG & DD: Pedro García bases its design approach on experimentation—mainly with materials, but also with construction and silhouettes—so that it’s always trying to push the envelope, to go one step further. For example, in the case of satin, Pedro García takes a material that has traditionally been considered opulent, and applies a raw, even brutal, finish, creating frayed stain, which has quickly become a brand icon. This experimentation with high-quality materials—this experimental luxury—is the same modus operandi that led Pedro García to embellish flat sandals with Swarovski crystals.

A similar juxtaposition of starkly different materials and shoe designs can be found in the use of anatomic footbeds with high heels. Why can’t a high heel be as comfortable as a tourist sandal? In fact, Pedro García’s design approach is defined by the drive to experiment with luxury, to make it modern and comfortable.

Delia Platform Wedge sandals.

SB: What makes a Pedro García shoe special?
PG & DD: Without a doubt, Pedro García’s shoes stand out because of their design. The brand’s aesthetic is consistent, and this makes its designs highly recognizable. At the same time, they defy rigid categorization—from excess to clean lines, everything is valid, because anything is possible. What’s more, Pedro García always gives itself the challenge of making designs that are comfortable, and that is where those innovative, surprising, special features emerge—like anatomic footbeds on high heels, or raw-edge leathers that don’t require seams.

Ella Crystal Flat sandals with satin straps.

SB: All Pedro García products are proudly made in Spain. In what ways are your designs influenced by Spanish culture?
PG & DD: Pedro García is definitely associated with the concept of “Made in Spain,” but this does not mean that the brand’s designs are particularly “Spanish”—the brand’s look has been international from the start. If there is a cultural influence, it comes from the warm climate and the easy-going Mediterranean spirit of the area where the company is based: Alicante, in southeastern Spain. But the real connection with the “Made in Spain” concept comes from the fact that Pedro García’s shoes have always been made in Elda, the town where the label was founded. The company has made a binding commitment to ensure that 100% of its activity has a positive impact on the local economy.

SB: Which shoe from the collection do you believe every woman needs this spring?
PG & DD: It’s hard to pick out a single style, because there is no single “Pedro García woman.” However, it could be the Sheryl style, a snappy suede sandal with a leather cuff—modern with a capital M.

Shop Pedro García shoes.

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