Originally posted on The Cron by Joy Sewing
Opened in April, the store is one of six Mezlan stores nationwide and the first in Texas, showcasing his luxury line of men's shoes in exotic skins and supple leathers (prices run $400-$1,100). The retail space, with dark wood floors and contrasting white accents, offers a mix of Sanchez's classic Mezlan styles to his more casual sportswear/street wear shoe line, Bacco Bucci ($100-$300). There's also an assortment of Sanchez-designed jackets ($995-$1,695); exotic skin and leather belts ($95-$125); and fun, colorful socks ($31-$39).
Sanchez, a native of Almanza, Spain, grew up in a family of farmers and learned shoe-making skills from relatives and other craftsmen in his community. He came to the United States in the mid-1980s to sell his shoe designs literally door to door, and they ultimately were picked up by Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. In the men's footwear industry, he's known for crafting exotic skin designs at a lower price point than his heavyweight competitors, such as Gucci, Prada and Ferragamo.
In 2008, the first Mezlan store opened in Las Vegas. Sanchez travels frequently between his U.S. stores and Europe, where he also manages manufacturing in Spain and Italy.
"Antonio has an eye for quality and detail, but he doesn't have the brand-name recognition like Ferragamo or Prada. He has the same quality. He's very humble," said Mezlan vice president Jeffrey Steinhardt. "He has an uncanny way creating beautiful shoes with such quality but at a modest mark up. Watching him work is like watching an orchestra. He's a master."