Two all-American brands—one a Southern California shoemaker the other a Kansas City outfitter—have joined forces to create a new limited-edition line of classic, collectable kicks. The Esquivel x Baldwin capsule collection comprises six styles, three men’s and three women’s, that represent the commitment to local craftsmanship upon which the two brands were founded.
“This is a like-minded collaboration of handcrafted goods,” explains Matt Baldwin, who founded his eponymous Missouri-based apparel company in 2009 with a dedication to reviving the premium-denim industry. “It’s about coming together to create a quality, American-made product.”
The Baldwin brand was first born as a modest Midwestern clothing store before swiftly rising to national level—with additional locations today in Los Angeles, New York, Leawood, and Dallas—thanks to its tailored-yet-worn-in take on jeans. Its line pays homage to the working-class heritage of denim, sourcing premium fabric from world-class mills for its enduring selvage styles. And, to achieve the ultimate authentic wash and fit, the company uses customers’ reclaimed, broken-in jeans as templates to create its unique washes.
Esquivel, too, is hyper-focused on homegrown style and high-quality materials. Crafted from premium leathers, every shoe from the nearly 17-year-old label—whose celebrity fan base spans from Bruno Mars and Kevin Costner to the entire Paris Saint-Germain soccer team—is cut and lasted by hand at the company’s Orange County workshop before being treated with dyes and creams and paired with handmade laces for the perfect finish. And while the namesake founder and designer, George Esquivel, might not be afraid of quirkiness in his creations (one of his signatures is hand-painting classic silhouettes with unexpected pops of color), the pieces he designed with Baldwin are decidedly more timeless.
Each of the range’s three men’s shoes—the black suede Edward boot ($650), the gray nubuck Grace mule ($540), and the gray nubuck Dandy ($520)—are designed to be versatile enough for both everyday use and special occasions. “The colors and materials used in the designs complement our collection and brand perfectly,” Baldwin explains, adding that the collaboration “just felt like a natural fit, based on friendship, brand alignment and mutual respect.”
The collection is now available at Baldwin locations and online at Baldwin.co.