Inside The Head Of…
Mickey Ashmore, aka The Sabah Dealer
Perhaps shoes were Mickey Ashmore’s destiny. His father sold them at Titche-Goettinger Co. and Neiman Marcus for years. And it was a gift of shoes—specifically, a pair of traditional Turkish slippers—that transformed the Forest Hills native from a Microsoft finance analyst to The Sabah Dealer. His first Dallas store opened in December, joining outposts in Manhattan’s East Village and, soon, Los Angeles and Paris.
What is a Sabah?
Sabahs are an original style of shoe I created in 2013 with a family of craftsmen in southeast Turkey. The artisans are renowned for their unique hand-stitching and the naturally tanned, water buffalo soles used in their footwear. Sabahs employ the same stitching technique and leather, albeit with an updated design, fit, and higher-quality materials. Now, they only make Sabahs, and we only work with them. It’s been a beautiful partnership.
What else did you change?
In a break from tradition, we added a rubber outsole that’s replaceable and really allows the shoes to live through wear and tear.
How did Sabah House begin?
I was selling every weekend from my home in the East Village, which quickly became known as “The Sabah House,” and every Sunday became “Sabah Sunday.” Everything sort of fell into place from there. I just followed my instincts.
You talk a lot about hospitality.
I’ve always loved hosting, which was largely influenced by my parents. They are wonderful hosts. And then living in the Middle East and Turkey, hospitality is a way of life. That really influenced me. When I started Sabah, it just made sense to marry my inclination with my business. Our stores are homes.
How do you describe your style?
Eclectic. Someone once told me I dress like it’s summer every day.
You’re a globetrotter. Next destination?
Travel is part of the DNA of our brand. However, I’m increasingly interested in home—however that might manifest itself—and that is likely why we are beginning to open more Sabah Houses. Who wouldn’t want to have small, fun, vibrant houses all over the world?
What’s your packing style?
I own a lot of things that go well together. I just pick my current favorite shirts, pants, and accessories, throw them all in a bag and figure it out when I get there.
Do you keep a travel journal?
I used to write extensively; there’s a blog out there somewhere with my writing. Now Sabah is an outlet. I do take a lot of photos, especially when I’m in Turkey.
Last book you read?
I just finished Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE. It was AWESOME!
Finish the sentence “Dallas has world-class…”
Favorite thing about living in Dallas?
I like being around my parents, who are here, and I like the pace. And I really love Texans.
Up next for Sabah?
We’re opening a Sabah House for the month of June in the Palais Royal. Paris, here comes Sabah!