Antonio Sánchez, Mezlan’s owner and lead designer, grew up in a farming family in Almansa, Spain. This region, an arid but fertile environment, produces many varieties of red wine grapes, grains, and vegetable crops. Farming and raising livestock are important economic activities in the region but are restricted due to harsh environmental conditions. Antonio, having tasted of this farming life right through his teenage years, realized that there was another path for him to take. He went to work in his relative's shoe factory, Mezlan.
After nine years of working and honing his skills at the Mezlan factory, he set off to bring Mezlan to the "New World", North America. Once arriving in the U.S. in January 1985, Antonio would go on to adopt a touring schedule that would put him on the road 260 days a year visiting accounts and introducing the Mezlan brand to premier department stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, as well as the finest independently-owned men’s clothing and shoe boutiques. Antonio was the sole North American sales force in these early years. But along the way Antonio met an American girl named Catherine. The two fell in love and would go on to become partners in life as well as partners in business, melding their creative talents. Antonio would slowly build his U.S. operations over the next 36 years and counting.
Traveling back and forth between the Mezlan factory in Almansa, Spain, which Antonio would come to own, and his clients and suppliers throughout Europe and his U.S. headquarters in Huntington Beach, California, Antonio would learn to maneuver between continents as though he were playing on one large soccer field. He continues to exchange ideas, create new designs, build relationships, and master evolving footwear technologies – all done in perpetual and fluid motion.
Artistry & Tradition
As the Mezlan factory continues to evolve, so do the levels of skill and sophistication required in its footwear production. Antonio maintains the status of master-shoemaker, a great honor. He is a revered chef in his own kitchen, slow cooking without short-cuts. When he says that no less than 100 pairs of hands touch each pair of Mezlan shoes through its production, it is often many more than that. Each style is adorned with its own personality using creativity, balance, honed skill and passion. This is the product which Antonio and the Mezlan factory bring to their customers. This is the Mezlan legacy.
The History of Almansa
Almansa, part of the larger Castile-La Mancha region of Spain, is the birthplace and home to Mezlan. Its 14th century Castle sits stoically atop the town’s high cliff, laying watch over its citizens. The hustle bustle of shoemakers working and living in the town below gives testimony to its artisanal roots and rich history. Embracing the hallowed traditions of skilled shoemakers which span back for generations, Mezlan stands today as a specialty factory, a design house in leather, and a heritage-brand rooted in authentic surroundings of the past and present. This is Spain’s shoemaking capital.
We're always in the kitchen creating new dishes, so to speak. It's a Mezlan tradition. So when we get excited about a new design concept we often develop a special limited series exclusively for our website customers which we call WEB EXCLUSIVE. We want to see how you like it. We showcase the style just for you. We hope it's a treat for you and a special opportunity to own a style not offered elsewhere. If your reaction is favorable then we may offer it, or something similar, in a future Mezlan collection for all.
Handcrafting high quality men's footwear using fine exotic skins has long been a specialty of the House of Mezlan. We think outside the box and infuse an extra measure of passion when we create our exotic shoe styles. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with an excellent value proposition in this genre of shoemaking.
Behind our technical savvy and captivating styling are the ethics of production. The precious, exotic materials we utilize in production are derived from following the highest standards of ethical, environmental and governmental controls. For 53 years we have had an impeccable record of compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and other agencies which assure legitimacy, sustainability, quality assurance, traceability, biosecurity, and environmental conservation when it comes to material procurement chains as well as the welfare of the people working in the trade.
BUSINESS Catering to the business executive wherever your work may take you. From your office to the boardroom to the airport to ...use your imagination.
ACTIVE We're talking luxury sneakers and sporty fashions with built-in comfort and performance materials. We're talking colors, materials and designs that will set you apart from the herd. Have some fun while you're active and enjoy the extra bounce in each step.
CASUAL Relaxed dress, refined casual, resort & leisure - Our Casual Class let's you reveal your sophisticated side of "laid back".
METRO With couture style and urban sophistication, our Stylish Class epitomizes the Mezlan Man -daring and cutting edge yet with design balance that exudes good taste. Our specialty!
FORMAL The spice of life - a special event! Affair etiquette, red carpet sparkle. Our formal collection will take you from classic tuxedo-wear to the fanciful, pizzazz Glam scene and back. Have a nice evening.
The Mezlan portfolio, known for its dress shoe bravado, also embraces men's' "sporty lifestyle" with shoes designed and manufactured with casual comfort in mind. Incorporating fresh designs and superior performance materials, the Mezlan Sport collection addresses the wardrobe needs of the playful, denim-friendly, street-rugged, and resort-leisure lifestyles. Mezlan Sneakers, part of its Active Class, have taken on a life of their own as this collection seeks to give men an energetic and aesthetically attractive alternative to the often hum-drum world of men's sneakers.
Mezlan Direct Retail
In 2008, Antonio launched the retail division of Mezlan by opening the company online store as well as its first boutique. Mezlan went on to operate seven high-end, company-owned boutiques in Atlanta, Arlington, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, NYC, and San Jose. With changing times and shopping behaviors, those seven shops closed in early 2020. The sights are set on international expansion with a strong emphasis on digital channels to bring footwear connoisseurs around the world the excitement of an ever-evolving line of Mezlan men's shoes and accessories.