Mezlan is joining the men’s wear fray on Madison Avenue.
The high-end Spanish footwear brand has opened a flagship at 520 Madison Avenue in the Jeffries Building, joining Thomas Pink, Eredi Pisano, The Art of Shaving, Hartmann luggage and Reiss of London.
The 1,275-square-foot shop was designed by Mezlan owner Antonio Sanchez in partnership with Zora Mobiliario SL, a Spanish architectural firm.
“The space has been empty for around one and a half years because they wanted someone who fit in and would be complementary to the other tenants,” said Jack Abelson, a retail veteran who now serves as Mezlan’s national sales manager.
The store, with its marble floors, leather furniture and upscale wood fixtures, is intended to mimic the handcraftsmanship of the shoes.
This marks the company’s seventh U.S. store. The first opened at The Palazzo hotel in Las Vegas in 2008, followed by units at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, the 900 North Michigan Shops in Chicago, Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in Arlington, Va., the Houston Galleria and the Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara, Calif.
The New York store is the first streetfront location, Abelson said. “This is a step up for us,” he said. “The other stores are nice, but this is an exponential leap.”
The shop offers a wide assortment of dress and casual shoes as well as belts, socks and small leather goods. There is also a smattering of tailored clothing and outerwear; shirts will be added in a few weeks.
Prices for the shoes range from $250 for some of the more-casual models to $450 for the upper-end Impronta line. Exotic skins such as alligator or ostrich can cost $700 and up. Models include sandals and sneakers as well as slip-ons, lace-ups, monk straps and boots. The store also offers custom shoes.
The Spanish-born Sanchez first brought Mezlan to the U.S. in 1985, where high-end retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom picked up the brand. He married an American woman and is now based in Huntington Beach, Calif., although the shoes are manufactured in Almansa, Spain.
Sanchez said he’s wanted to open a New York store for a while, “but it was a matter of finding the right location. Then the opportunity opened up in this building. New York is an international city with a level of sophistication that is similar to other capital cities around the world.”
Abelson said Mezlan would like to selectively add more stores in the U.S., in “bigger cities” such as Miami, Dallas or somewhere in Southern California. “And we would also look to infill other areas like downtown San Francisco, the Washington, D.C., area and New York.”
He added: “We’re never going to be a 50-store chain, but we could be a 20-store chain. We’re just looking for the right locations for us.”