Monday, September 26, 2022

House of ZALO: A Story of Legacy, Family and Craftsmanship

Legacy, family, craftsmanship and serendipity all play important parts in the relaunch of footwear brand House of ZALO. Originally founded in 1980 by Cuban-born Gonzalo Pedroso, his daughter Lalin Pedroso and niece Anina Mahoney are now at the helm of this special brand. It’s a beautiful continuation of bringing bold and vibrant footwear to women across America. 

“To be able to partner with my cousin, use my public relations background, and bring back this beloved brand is truly a labor of love,” shares Anina. 

Headquartered in Miami, Lalin will make the drive up north to The Seagate in Delray Beach this Saturday for a ZALO trunk show from noon to 4 p.m. Already the owner of a pair of velvet ZALO mules, I simply could not pass up the chance to chat with Lalin to learn more about this fast-growing footwear brand that’s already making waves.

Your brand launched in 2020, in the midst of a pandemic. What were you thinking?!?! 

It was quite serendipitous! Anina was ready to start a new business and I finally found the time to sit down and start designing. Let’s just say we were at the right place at the right time.

What would you mainly attribute to your brand’s growing success?  

Luckily we started with a huge foot in front of the other, no pun intended! My father had already established this brand and customers very early on. All we had to do is reinterpret some of the classics. Women always approached us and kept saying how they adored their vintage ZALO’s. 

Who is the ZALO customer?

She’s always been a lot of fun, very chic and appreciates design and craftsmanship. 

It’s great working with family, but it can also be tricky. How is the dynamic between you two? And have you learned something new about one another from working together?

I’d like to think that we each bring unique talents to the table. Anina is strategic, calming and composed. Her experience in PR is extremely valuable, especially with all the messaging that brands require nowadays. I have close to two decades learning my craft and developing successful footwear brands. My passion for creating novel footwear really drives me to keep creating.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you go back into the archives? 

All the time! Anina loves to look at the archives and remembers all of ZALO’s greatest past hits. I enjoy looking around me and draw so much inspiration from interiors, travels and vintage fashion. Some of my best ideas come when I’m up in the air on a flight.

Five years from now, where do you envision your brand? 

On the feet of many women and men! We’d love to be a household name creating the most imaginative and quality-driven shoes in the industry. We are expanding our footwear assortment this fall to include new styles, so stay tuned for what’s next.

What is the best advice youve received in business? 

Lots of great advice. We are constantly talking to others both inside the industry and out. I would say some of the best teachings have been to just give it a try! Test ideas and learn from them. Not sure if this is good advice or not, but my father once told me “there’s no contract that a good lawyer can’t get you out of…” 

Don’t miss the chance to discover in person ZALO this Saturday at The Seagate. 

For more from Olivia Hollaus, click here.

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