A pioneering brand in fashion-forward footwear
The family feels a strong connection to their homeland: “Since our grandfather’s days, all Pedro García products have been manufactured entirely in Spain, specifically in Elda, our hometown in Alicante,” says Pedro. “ ‘Made in Spain’ is part of our corporate identity; it means having a sense of responsibility towards our people—we want the business to make a positive impact on our region. To express this connection, we also publish a newspaper of the same name every season: for each issue we choose a different part of the country in which to photograph the new collection, with content that reflects what makes the places unique and inspiring for us.” In addition to creating fabulous footwear, it’s surely also integrity that has enabled the Pedro García brand to flourish some ninety years later.
The story started in 1925 when grandfather García set up a workshop making children’s shoes in Elda, Alicante. His son, also Pedro García (Pedro Senior), got involved in 1954 and branched out into top-end women’s footwear, in turn passing on his skills to his own son Pedro Junior and former ballet dancer daughter Mila. She assumed the role of CEO in 1990, while Pedro Junior and his partner Dale Dubovich took over as the brand’s creative directors the following year. “Being a family business is an advantage, not a problem,” says Pedro. “We make a very compact and harmonious team, closely bonded, in which decisions that affect the company as a whole are taken by consensus.”
From designers to patternmakers, 89 people are involved in creating the footwear ranges, with collections that have included salon shoes with elegantly frayed satin and glossy patent, as well as python and metallic spike heels. Contemporary ranges are linked by a single design identity, and when it comes to the export market, each destination country simply chooses the styles that reflect its customs, culture, aesthetic and climate.
“Our collections aren’t closed chapters,” Pedro continues, “they evolve organically from one season to the next. Our design philosophy is practical—a hands-on approach based on what we’ve already created, which begins with experience and evolves through experimentation. It involves juxtaposing materials, contrasting textures, and combining styles. Some materials—for example, suede, satin, vacchetta and crystal—are part of our identity and have become iconic. ‘Let the material do the talking’ is our mantra.”
The Pedro García brand’s close relationship with crystal began in the early Nineties when the third generation took over the reins. “We began to look for new ways of working with crystal,” explains Pedro, “and we’ve always turned to Swarovski for inspiration. We were fortunate to meet a very knowledgeable Swarovski sales associate with whom we still work today, Mr. Sergio Sorell. Swarovski’s outstanding quality and versatility help us to decide how to design certain shoe categories. We’re proud to be a major partner.”
In 2000, the company came up with a groundbreaking way of incorporating Swarovski crystal in their designs: they created Amanda and Anabel—flat sandals with anatomical footbed silhouettes, featuring Swarovski crystals. This signature anatomical sole combined luxurious crystal detailing with comfort (the Holy Grail of shoe manufacture)—an innovation offering pain-free glamour that’s still being manufactured today. It also led to another first in shoe design: the use of the same wonderfully comfortable rubber-cork footbeds for styles with heels and wedges. Says Pedro: “For us, it’s not the height of a shoe that makes it attractive, edgy or cool. We think that a shoe usually considered as eveningwear can also be worn during the day. Think party, wear daily. A flat can fit the dress code just as well as a heel. It all depends on the design and how it’s worn”. Flat silhouettes, especially sandals with Swarovski crystals, are a characteristic aspect of Pedro García’s design signature.