Espadrilles, the French way to do casual
Summer shoe par excellence, the espadrille has crossed Catalan and Basque borders to adorn the feet of the French and the Parisians. Resolutely fifties in spirit, these shoes continue to reinvent themselves from season to season. Here are just a few good reasons why you should give in to a touch of casual and a heap of elegance. French-style.
Originally borne out of traditional peasantry, espadrilles can be likened to sandals covered with a light fabric and mounted onto a hemp rope or braided esparto sole. Popular in Catalonia and the Basque Country, where they were worn during celebrations at the end of the 1940s, these Pyrenean shoes were quickly adopted by city dwellers and townspeople. It is said that even Salvador Dali fell for these casual, summertime pieces. With this shoe having survived the decades relatively unscathed, some brands have been quick to reclaim the espadrille and turn it into an irrefutable fashion accessory.
Espadrilles by Rivieras
Picking up the thread of this vintage spirit, French brand Rivieras brings the casual and sophistication to each of its models. Newcomers will be spoiled for choice amongst the Classique collection and the more colourful models made from different materials (nylon, suede, mesh, denim…). But beware – nobody is immune to the espadrille addiction.
Espadrilles by Angarde
Another espadrille prodigy, Angarde has set up a pop-up in the Cour Bleue at LE BHV MARAIS L’HOMME* (ask for the “VespaGarde” truck), until 1st August. Behind this reinterpretation are Astrid and Alexandre, the fashion fanatical brother and sister combo, who have taken over a family business with over 25 years of experience.
In the image of the brand’s name (ANGARDE is a shortened version of the adjective “avant-garde”), their models marry traditional lines with more rounded cuts, and they’re not afraid to dip into the world of sports shoes. Modernity meets classicism.
Espadrilles by 1789 CALA
A young brand born in 2010 on the Côte d’Azur, the traditional Made in France espadrille by 1789 CALA has abandoned woven soles and fallen for rubber instead. Multi-coloured, plain or patterned, each model breathes French savoir-faire and maximum comfort. Why wouldn’t you this summer?