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Gonzalo ‘Zalo’ Pedroso b.1945 d.2012

Gonzalo’s family left Cuba in 1959 and after attending schools in Miami and Pennsylvania he took a job in 1966 working at the Burdines department store in Miami. He progressed through the departments until he was buying shoes – eventually working with European factories to create new designs first for Burdines, then for Saks Fifth Avenue and finally Bloomingdale’s.

Zalo established his company Paradox in 1980 working with factories in Alicante, Spain. His chief assistant designer was Ramon Tenza and they created the signature Zalo look of novelty design women’s footwear in applique leather. The first shoes were produced in 1981, priced at $95. Zalo shoes were available in US sizes 5-12 and two widths (Narrow N or Medium B/M).

By 1987 he had four factories producing footwear for four collections of 150 styles a year, selling 200,000 pairs of shoes within the United States and Europe. At this time prices had reached $160 and Zalo cut this back to $115-$140 a pair to maintain his ethos of keeping his designs affordable to a wider market and also began selling a lower priced line at $45 a pair called Paradox by Zalo II in December 1987.

In more recent years Zalo produces women’s slip-on tapestry shoes often featuring novelty designs or motifs. Over the years they have produced some accompanying handbags and attempted a children’s line which was axed.

See also: Paradox

Written by stellarosevintage

from a pair of 1980s leather shoes - Courtesy of stellarosevintage

from a pair of 1980s leather shoes

Courtesy of stellarosevintage