We are in a paradise for those who love shoes. Handmade shoes. And you all know that handiwork is the 21st century luxury. We are in the recently opened shop Gallardo Dance (www.gallardodance.com) right in the heart of Seville, in the 3rd of Sauceda street. Shoes made at home, specifically in Madrid, concretely in the traditional neightborhood of Lavapiés. Shoes which sound on the best flamenco stages in Spain and all over the world and which fit to the street models too.
Dancer José Gallardo and his brother, a professional shoemaker, decided to open in 1951 a shoe company for artists. Years passed the company was sold to a multinational dedicated to dance world, whithout losing its artisanal essence. It is said by Maribel Zapardiel, Gallardo Dance S.L. manager. “In Seville we had a good trade, but there were artists who travelled to Madrid only to try the shoes on, so we decided to open this branch”.
“Since they are cut by hand, depending on the measure of each client, shoes go through the assembling and garnishing procedure. They are made one by one over a shoe tree, nailing the hide to the sole nail by nail. The next procedure is to nail heels and forefoots and to put the nails, a total of two hundred for each pair of shoes, to give them the typical sound of flamenco dancing. Then, final beautification is done”.
“Hides are made of cattle -keeps talking Maribel- with a special toughness in order to avoid dance damage as much as possible; heels are made of beech wood. Integrants of Spanish National Ballet and Andalusian Flamenco Ballet wear our shoes, as well as main stars of flamenco dancing. For instance, María Pagés, Sara Baras or Antonio Canales. Some of them, like Eva la Yerbabuena, Israel Galván or Rocío Molina, have their specific models.
Maribel Zapardiel says that Gallardo is very classic regarding modeling, “because what it is important is quality and sound. However, we have renovated ourselves with new designs and materials as the patent leather or the lizard, without losing the essence of sobriety and elegance. We make shoes for shows in general and we make, for instance, those from the popular TV show, “Señora”. And, since always, Luz Casal’s, boots included.
“Some of the designs are adaptable to street models, with softer materials and more adjustable to diary use. We do true measure, we try them on and we finished them when they are adjusted. We have a fifty colors chart and the customer can choose design, materials combination and hue, as well as the type of heel. María Garzón, model from the Agencie MMExpresión (www.mmexpression.es), attests it with this walk from a luxury within’s foot reach.