History

The Lucchese Legacy: Boots Worth Gifting to Yourself

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Lucchese is a brand of boots well-known to many Texans and Americans. But did you know Lucchese has historical ties to the United States Army and the opera? Established in San Antonio in 1883 by Sam Lucchese, Sr., who emigrated from Sicily with his brothers, the company was first known as Lucchese Bros. Their business had some very important clientele like the United States Calvary School in Fort Sam Houston. The company’s focus on “quality, quantity and cost efficiency” in the boot-making process led to frequent investments in new technology and machinery, while also developing improved techniques aimed to escalate boot production. This focus advantaged Lucchese Bros. and soon, the factory’s output daily was 35 pairs of custom boots, in addition to other types of footwear.

As his business prospered, Sam Lucchese looked to invest in the local real estate. One decision boosted the performing arts when he purchased the Teatro Zaragoza, which, at the time, was considered the center of Spanish-language dramatic entertainment. Although he had no theater management experience, Lucchese soon fired the initial operations manager and took over responsibilities himself included hiring staff and actors, and traveling to Mexico to secure talent. Perhaps in connection to this passion for the performing arts, his daughter, Josephine Lucchese, later became a nationally-known opera singer and taught at the University of Texas.

Hand crafted

Photo: Facebook/Lucchese

The boot factory continued to develop but its daily management was handed over to son Cosimo after Sam Lucchese suffered a stroke in 1923; his involvement in the theaters’ operations was also restricted. Six years later, at the age of 61, Sam suffered another stroke at his home and died. Cosimo incorporated and renamed the business in 1929 to be Lucchese Boot Company. Continuing to grow, in 1949, the company was commissioned to provide boots for a national advertising campaign. By 1961, Sam Lucchese, Jr. took over the family business. The year 1964 saw global attention for the brand when President Lyndon B. Johnson noted his closet contained Lucchese boots. In 1970, Lucchese sold to another company, then in 1987, it was moved from San Antonio to El Paso, where it remains headquartered. The year 1998 saw another sale of the company to a Western Apparel conglomerate. Still a favorite and revered brand in our state, look closely next time you see a batch of boots out scootin’ and see if you can identify the Lucchese label.

Lucchese

Photo: Facebook/Cameron Hanes

The year 1964 saw global attention for the brand when President Lyndon B. Johnson noted his closet contained Lucchese boots. In 1970, Lucchese sold to another company, then in 1987, it was moved from San Antonio to El Paso, where it remains headquartered. The year 1998 saw another sale of the company to a Western Apparel conglomerate. Still a favorite and revered brand in our state, look closely next time you see a batch of boots out scootin’ and see if you can identify the Lucchese label.

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