Do you know the Sabah Dealer? Stop by his new digs on Routh Street, and you just might find him hanging out, having drinks and hawking his chic Turkish footwear.
Originally from Dallas, Mickey Ashmore (aka the Sabah Dealer) opened the Sabah House earlier this month. It’s his second location — the first is in New York City’s East Village — and Ashmore thinks it's a perfect fit for shopping-obsessed Dallasites.
“We’re bringing something different to Dallas, and so far, the response has been really positive,” says Ashmore. “We have a really good following here.”
For the uninitiated, Sabahs are traditional Turkish slippers. But Ashmore’s iterations are decidedly modern, sporting an espadrille-ish silhouette in virtually every color imaginable. But his approach to craftsmanship is very much old world.
“Maintaining the integrity of what we make and how we operate has been important as we grow,” says Ashmore.
To wit: Each pair is handmade at a nearly 150-year-old workshop in Gaziantep, Turkey. Artisans use naturally tanned water buffalo leather for an ultra-comfortable fit that molds to the wearer’s feet, only getting cozier with time. Soles are replaceable, giving Sabahs a long life, and more than justifying the $190 price tag.
Ashmore first fell in love with the Turkish slippers when living and working in Istanbul. In stark contrast to his current profession, Ashmore’s background is actually in business and travel. He was working abroad for Microsoft when his then-girlfriend’s grandmother gifted him a pair of traditional leather slippers.
He was an instant fan. “I wore them every day and everywhere,” he says. “The beaches of France; dancing in Beirut; work trips to Munich, Ireland, and Portugal; and hiking in Morocco.”
When he moved back to the states four years ago, he decided to seek out the maker for a new pair.
“I suggested a few changes in design, and many iterations later, the Sabah was born.”
Part showroom, part hangout space, Sabah House stocks a healthy assortment of the coveted slippers, along with non-Sabah items representing Ashmore’s “favorite things and brands.” For a bespoke pair, just email the Dealer himself.
“Dress them up, dress them down — wear them as you wish,” he says. “We make a really special pair of shoes.”
Next on the agenda? A location in Los Angeles. A Sabah Dealer never sleeps.