New York City has an allure all its own and there simply is no better address in the US than Madison Avenue. With its extensive luxury customer and store lineup, this was the perfect location for Mezlan to enter the big time world of Manhattan retail. The site also has the distinction of sporting the widest sidewalk on the entire avenue, making it a New York City landmark. However, nothing is guaranteed and when you play in this league, you had better bring your “A” game to have any chance of success.
Recognizing this challenge, Antonio Sanchez, owner and designer of Mezlan, knew the store had to be an exponential step up from his others, even as nice as they are. In much the same way that Steve Wynn changed the Las Vegas hotel scene when he built The Bellagio, Antonio upped the ante by recreating the Mezlan shop, and in so doing, the brand itself. In this way, Mezlan Madison Avenue transcends being merely a store.
Working very closely with Zora Mobiliario of Valencia, Spain, Antonio chose every element comprising the space, creating an art gallery feeling throughout. The environment is architecturally rich, reminding one of a cathedral in Spain, with warm wood tones and striking elements. Two hanging frames emphasize the eighteen foot high ceilings while adding additional lighting. Construction was aided by the participation of skilled artisans from Zora, providing an element of old world craftsmanship to the project.
The product is always the centerpiece of any retail location and this one features the usual excellent styling and quality which are the hallmark of Mezlan, including an extensive grouping of exotic skins such as alligator, crocodile, ostrich, lizard and snakeskin. In addition, it will contain the complete collection of Mezlan’s Impronta line of fully Goodyear welted footwear, a representation of the highest form of the shoemaking art. As in other Mezlan locations, the Bacco Bucci sport line will be part of the assortment. Custom design and fit will also be offered, all at the exceptional value which Mezlan represents.
Complementing the footwear is a substantial selection of belts, each capable of being custom fit on site to the customer’s exact size. An exciting assortment of hosiery, both dress and sport, composed of Japanese yarns and crafted in Italy, will be on offer, as will a new grouping of small leather goods such as wallets and key chains. Shirts made especially for Mezlan in Spain and sumptuous leather jackets from both Italy and Spain round out the product offering.
As impressive as all this is, no venue is truly a retail store without a trained, knowledgeable staff to present, fit and sell these magnificent items. In this case, the staff is composed of quintessential veterans of the New York luxury world, having worked and sold at Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. Their decades of collective experience are invaluable to the success of the store.
When Antonio Sanchez brought Mezlan to the US in 1985, owning and operating a store on Madison Avenue was not his primary goal. He first had to establish the brand and show his audience, both retailers and especially customers, that Mezlan was worthy of their attention, respect and support. After successfully achieving that objective, he proceeded to open retail stores, all while bringing his deeply held passion for shoemaking to every endeavor. 520 Madison Avenue is the culmination, on every level, of that passion.