Interview with José Albaladejo Pujadas


March 29, 2013 by Ville Raivio

‘José Albaladejo, 74 years old [this text was first published two years ago] and I have been working with shoes for 57 years as designer, pattern maker and businessman since the 60’s, when I began a small family business and which soon was a big shoe company, Yanko. It was a very known company in Spain and abroad. The company was sold and there is nothing left of the ancient company nowadays. My wife and I began a new small company with the aim of making the best Goodyear-welted shoes for men and women, I think we are near that.


I have 6 children, 3 men and three women, all of them are involved in shoes. Two of them have their own businesses and the other four are involved in Carmina Shoemaker. Antonio is the manager and the follower of the family name, which began with my great-grandfather, Marlen is responsible for the store design and also designs women’s shoes, Betty is in charge of all customers abroad as well as shows, and Carmina the youngest is preparing to be shop manager and buyer, this job is ran by my wife at the moment.

At the age of 10, I began my interest in shoes because of my grandmother, she wanted me to follow my grandfather’s business. My grand father was the first to set up a Goodyear-welted factory in Inca, Mallorca, the kind of construction of which the city was famous for (only in men’s shoes). The family never abandoned this method in shoes, and also introduced it for women, which nowadays are almost the like in make. This kind of construction only had been used in the early 20th century in very craftsmen-kind shoes and then disappeared. At 19, I went to Italy and stepping into factories I took my first knowledge which was very useful, but above all was the passion I have always had, and never has it abandoned me, the spark to make me do better shoes every day and looking to improve every day. Our shoes are different in many ways from the British, we have our own style.

I can say my style began with Yanko, when we began making our own lasts, we very carefully studied and applied to them personal styles specially designed for these lasts, which were very singular to our brand. For me, the oxford is The shoe. Throughout my life I have had many icons, above all the British, who have been, during the last 150 years, the Mozart in men’s shoes, however, the Italians have always followed fashion and for this reason theirs has been an ephemeral shoe. [My hobbies are] classical music, but during listening I continue drawing and designing. I also walk a lot. Be passionate in what you do, don’t do it only to earn a living.’

Picture: © Carmina

~ originally published in Finnish on the 28th of March 2011


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