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Published May 19, 2008

Best Feet in the House
Bespoke Shoes in Secret Alley Courtyard

If the shoes make the man, then the right man better be making the shoes.

So you'll want to spend some time with George Esquivel, whose new custom-footwear hideaway B.spoke is now open in a secret courtyard.

First you need an appointment, then you have to find the place. Park on the blue stripes in the alley behind Douglas Fir, and head through a gated courtyard to an unlabeled door across from DF's rear entrance. Once inside, you'll feel like you're in someone's living room. Take a seat on the couch, turn on the game, have a scotch from the kitchen, and start talking shoes.

Every pair from Esquivel is meticulously handmade, and his finished products are some of the most interesting, subtly imperfect shoes we've seen recently. (We even spotted The Killers bouncing around in them not too long ago.) You can special order your originals in a standard size, choosing from swatches of high-end material (matte-finish alligator, hand-burnished leather) and adding details like colored linings, monogrammed soles and understated skulls. Or go all-out with a full-custom pair, specially measured for your feet alone.

Eventually, there may be customizable suits, wallets and umbrellas. For now, though, focus on the shoes.

Nothing wrong with taking it one step at a time.
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