Team Tommy Hilfiger blew into Southern California like the Santa Ana winds Tuesday to celebrate the launch of the label's limited-edition footwear collaboration with George Esquivel, first with a cocktail party at the brand's Robertson Boulevard boutique and later an intimate dinner with friends, family and a handful of L.A.'s tastemakers, tree-shakers and style scribes.
The cocktail party, a consumer event cohosted by Esquire magazine, had shoppers lined up three deep to watch shoemakers from Esquivel's Buena Park atelier demonstrate the techniques used to craft the brogues and loafers that are part of the Tommy Hilfiger X George Esquivel capsule collection.
The Chateau Marmont dinner, hosted by Tommy Hilfiger and wife Dee, was a decidedly more low-key affair that, in addition to Esquivel, wife Shelly and business partner Dana Robinson and his wife Heather, included Tommy's daughter -- and recent West Coast transplant -- Ally Hilfiger, stylist Miles Siggins, Vogue's senior West Coast editor Lisa Love and author/retail diva Rose Apodaca (who, come to find out, was the first journalist to profile Esquivel and his footwear business -- back in a December 1997 piece for the Los Angeles Times titled "The Sole of Quirkiness").
Before guests tucked into their plates of steak frites and branzino, Esquivel and Hilfiger each made a brief comment before toasting the collaboration.
"Growing up homeless and wondering what my life was going to be like, I never imagined God would bless my life with people like this -- like the people around this table," Esquivel said as he raised his glass. "People like Tommy and Dee, my wife Shelly, Lisa and Rose -- all of you."
After Esquivel spoke, Hilfiger offered his collaborative partner a hearty congratulations and made an off-hand observation about how most men (though certainly not the well-shod ones around the table, we presume) "only buy one pair of shoes a year" before raising his own glass.
"You're going to be really, really successful," Hilfiger said, as the 2009 Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund finalist, shoemaker to the stars and 15-year overnight success, looked on -- beaming from ear to ear.
The limited-edition Tommy Hilfiger X George Esquivel capsule collection consists of four styles -- a brogue silhouette and a loafer silhouette each for men and women (all in a handsome combination of navy blue and burgundy leather and retailing for $399 a pair) is available now at Tommy Hilfiger boutiques (including West Hollywood locally) as well as through the brand's e-commerce site.