In the 1970s, North Hollywood was a cottage industry for hand sculpting wood bottoms for shoes.
Though the industry shuttered, Calleen Cordero has been reviving this lost art for the past 17 years, and we've been proud to carry her wares for much of that time. Her artisanal ethos defines every element and process that goes into the creation of her shoes, bags, and belts. We visited her Los Angeles factory to glimpse the remarkable, sustained craftsmanship behind her brand.
Each part of Calleen Cordero's shoes—from the outsole to the insole to the heel—is meticulously handcrafted; a single pair can pass through up to 36 pairs of hands over the course of its production. Above, in front of a wall of stencils, an x-acto knife is used to cut a piece of suede. All leather for the shoes is cut using the custom stencil for a size and style.