Fernando Hernandez is a third-generation bootmaker who prefers to do things “old school.” So old, in fact, that his sewing machine is one of the most antique in the Lucchese factory – from the 19th century. For Hernandez, the machine holds a certain amount of nostalgia; it was the same type of machine his father used in his family’s independent bootshop in Juarez, where he learned how to design through experimentation as a child.
Today, Hernandez knows how to make every style of boot at Lucchese. He says the most rewarding style to construct is the classic Lieutenant boot, the production of which was Lucchese’s main point of business in the late 1800s as the company supplied the U.S. Cavalry at Fort Sam Houston.
Hernandez showed his dexterity in the art of bootmaking when he suggested to his supervisor many years ago that the Lieutenant pattern and molds be remade for a better look and fit. To this day, the molds he created are the very ones used to make the powerfully striking Lieutenants, which require a day and a half of construction per every two pairs of boots.
“When I see someone wearing my boots – especially the Lieutenants because it’s a very famous style – I feel proud because I know those boots passed through my hands,” he says. “You do your job with love and respect. I’m proud to be part in the making and shaping of this boot.”