HAENZ 1929 – 1998
“My father was a perfectionist, with impeccable taste, highly skilled with his hands in the art of modeling. That’s how he made a name for himself..”
A designer, artist and a worldly man with the gift of perfection and great taste.
“I don’t make shoes; we create gloves for feet”
At the tender age of 6, my father taught me everything there was to know about leather. How it was tanned, and which hides were best. He made shoes for special and discerning clients. His love for the trade became the greatest inspiration to all of us. .
“It felt like there was a higher power involved with all of this.” I grew up in an environment where I could take any design I wanted my own father would help improve it and tailor make it to my needs. This was an opportunity few people had so I was fortunate and knew how to take advantage of it..
Carol Leiva has always been committed to helping children in the most vulnerable sectors of the population. The foundation’s policies promote the inclusion of single mothers into the workforce. We develop programs through the foundation Seeds of Life for Kids..
When I was very young, I got the chance to travel to Europe and I went to a Leather Goods Exhibition in Milan. Right then and there I knew my calling was shoes, almost like an obsession, like a collector. Shoes were works of art if you will, that you use only on special occasions. Why not make each occasion unique and special where you would definitely not pass unnoticed.
I started off with a small boutique with a minimalistic concept. We had some samples exhibited but our shoes were made only on request and tailormade to each client. Something that was different and necessary at the moment clicked; custom design. Our products were made on request and handmade for people with a demanding taste who wanted personalized and cutting-edge designs.
We would make a mold by hand for each client and then register it in a database. With that info we would make the first prototype and run tests directly on the client’s foot until we mapped out the exact measurements and balance. This allowed us to make a unique pattern for each client.
My father passed away on the 17th of February 1998 from an illness he had fought for many years. He worked up until his very last day because his work was his passion. He left us a great legacy. He also loved to share his passion and knowledge with many younger artisans throughout many decades. It’s no surprise that he had many students during the 70s, 80s, and 90s who became master artisans and successful businessmen all over the world in the fashion and Leather Goods industries.