Fashion September 11, 2009 By Kiki Anderson

filler1 Esquivel

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Photography courtesy of Esquivel Shoes

filler1 Esquivel
esquivel title Esquivel

The story of Esquivel shoes is like the American Dream come true. George Esquivel pulled himself up from difficult circumstances and became a success thanks to his hard work, faith, and an independent spirit. Learning the trade from retired master cobbler Emigdio Canales, he went on to open his own workshop and store in Southern California and now makes both ready-to-wear and custom shoes and boots for men. Not an antiquated notion that died with the Industrial Revolution, shoes made by hand can be sculptures for the feet that age well, both in terms of style and materials. And they don’t need to cost $3,000 a pair. With prices comparable to other ready-to-wear designer brands, Esquivel’s designs are classic with creative details, such as hand-varnished brogues and work boots with avant-garde details.

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Fashion August 17, 2009 By Kiki Anderson

simon pierre page1 Simon Pierre Toussaintsimonpierre title Simon Pierre Toussaint

Simon-Pierre Toussaint took not one but two prizes at the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival this past spring for his menswear collection, “The trees can hear you if you talk to them”. Boy scouts and the male adolescent experience are points of reference for his work, an imaginative spin on practical outdoor wear. It was the twenty-fourth year for the festival at Hyères, which is held at the early modernist villa Noailles in the south of France and focuses on emerging fashion designers and photographers. This year’s fashion jury included artist Nan Goldin and Jefferson Hack, founder of Dazed and Confused, among others.
     Toussaint, who graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp last year, says that the boy scouts and simple childhood pastimes like playing with wooden knights are what inspired his collection. Like boyhood camping and acting out Medieval battles, his designs are playful but not whimsical. They are inventive, dreamy solutions for surviving outdoors. Take for example his ankle-length parka, pieced together from sleeping bags and lined with nighttime constellations; this huge cape parka is shown over white long johns that look old-school backwoods, except for the stark geometric designs that wrap suggestively around the hips.

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