Updated: Sep 10, 2021
Spanish Espadrilles- a Casual Fashion staple with a deep History
Timeless ( /ˈtīmləs/ ) : "not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion".
Hardly any fashion item is more deserving of this adjective than Spanish espadrilles.
"Espadrilles?" you may think - dismissing them as just a casual shoe trend that used to be all the rage in the 1950's and 60's, but has since long faded and gone out of fashion.
Better think again !
No shoe has reinvented itself over the years quite like espadrilles. Today, we know them as an elevated summer staple, very much 'en vogue' again with hipsters and preppies alike - everywhere from St. Tropez to Madrid to Saint Barths, from the Hamptons to South Beach or Capri, Italy.
You see them at the beach, by the pool, in chic restaurants, or upscale shopping malls, and they go with about anything casual : jeans, khakis, shorts, chinos or light summer dresses.
It’s the type of shoe you wear not just when you want to dress down for the sun and sand - or a trip on a friend's sail boat in Santorini, Greece.
With espadrilles you blend in all the right places : Mallorca, Spain , or exclusive Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton, Long Island.
You will also wear them to dress-up in a cool and relaxed look for drinks with friends in downtown Soho, New York or cocktails in Palm Beach, Florida.
These days, espadrilles are a "de riguer" footwear essential worn by everyone from your average beach-goer in Ibiza, to models in Milan.
They’re one of the more versatile casual shoe styles available.
Espadrilles may also be one of the oldest forms of footwear still worn today.
The espadrille is a product of the Pyrenees region, the upper made of something tough, like canvas or linen, the sole of braided jute or, originally with fibers of a plant called ‘esparto’ that gave the shoe its name.
The name was first documented in 1322 as “espardenyes,” the Catalan name for this regional shoe, soled with esparto grass.
Believe it or not, Pyrenees peasants were among the earliest adopters of this cool looking and comfortable footwear that today is a darling of many casual fashion affacionados.
Back then, their lightweight, flexible design made them the footwear of choice for everyone from priests and miners to the King of Aragon’s infantry.
It was also back then when the making of espadrilles moved from the home to what passed for a "factory". Professional espadrille makers - or ‘alpargateros’ - focused on the more complex craft element, the making of the braided sole, while seamstresses sewed on the fabric upper.
Spanish espadrilles by PARGAS Miami are pretty much made in that same tradition - inner soles of natural braided jute and canvas tops in beautiful natural colors -reinforced with elemenets of rubber outer soles that provide robustness, yet perfect breathability.
Our espadrilles are hand-made by artisans in Spain - unlike many competitors that produce cheap "espadrilles" imitations, in Chinese sweat shops or in Vietnam, only to sell them for outlandishly high prices, justified by nothing other than hyped up branding . Nothing could really be further removed from the original roots of genuine Spanish espadrilles.
We at PARGAS Miami prefer to offer a simple and honest line of entirely affordable, and nature inspired hand-made espadrilles shoes for men and women - stylish and comfortable.
The line reflects a lasting commitment to both European quality heritage, and the fashionable lifestyle of vibrant tropical Miami - contemporary, lightweight and breathable.
But back again to some more Espadrilles history.
It was some 70 years ago, around the middle of the 20th century when espadrilles came roaring onto the celebrity fashion scene.
In the 1970s, Yves Saint Laurent teamed up with a Spanish manufacturer to produce an espadrilles wedge version that became a luxury must-have for trendsetting women
Excentic celebrity artist Salvador Dali - the famous Spanish surrealist, renowned for his striking and bizarre images, wore espadrilles all the time, while working in his studio or relaxing at some Catalonian beach.
Even JFK wore them during sailing trips in Mallorca, Spain.
In those days, even men used to wear espadrilles with ribbons.
Times do change... alas !😎
Actress Lauren Bacall ,named the 20th-greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema for her contributions to the Golden Age of motion pictures, was often seen wearing espadrilles together with her timelessly fashionable outfits.
Stylish beauties on the beaches of Eastern Long Island ( south of the highway, of course) used to wear them in the sixties, and are still wearing them today and every summer.
Espadrilles have that super relaxed, yet slightly understated and elegant "retro" look.
The unwaivering authenticity of these timeless shoes lives on - and never really
goes out of fashion.
PARGAS Miami is proud and honored to keep the timeless espadrilles tradition alive.
Best wishes from your PARGAS Miami editorial team, and maybe you follow us on Instagram .
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