Leather Permitting

For the last 15 years, tucked away in a discreet studio in Orange County, California, George Esquivel has been providing a European-style bespoke men’s shoe service that not only offers customized handmade footwear, but also has a wide selection of stylish designs. Esquivel’s latest collection features a calfskin leather shoe designed to give the appearance of true shell cordovan ?a hard, stiff leather made from the back of a horse and used to construct men’s shoes for centuries?but without the usual breaking-in process required of genuine cordovan leather. The shoe, which is accented with soft matte alligator swatches along the sides, is $2,800 for custom-made orders. The shoemaker has also created a limited edition of ready-to-wear calfskin models (that appear like shell cordovan) for $1,900, available at Douglas Fir in Los Angeles and Rubenstein’s in New Orleans. (714.670.2200, www.esquivelshoes.com)

—Alexandra Foster

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