Why The Espadrille Is The Must-Have Summer Shoe

Fashion

August 9, 2017 | BY AFP

This summer staple has sneaked its way back into our hearts (and our wardrobes).

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The espadrille has been a summer footwear staple for many years. Now lauded as a seasonal classic, the espadrille has made its mark on the history of fashion, becoming a summer must-have for men and women.

No one knows where it originated from

Legend has it that this kind of shoe was discovered on the feet of a skeleton in Granada, and history suggests that espadrilles were already being worn by soldiers of the King of Aragon in the 12th and 13th centuries. In any case, the shoe  is also strongly linked to the Basque Country. In fact, a family in Mauléon-Licharre – a town in Southwestern France – was responsible for developing the shoe's artisanal manufacture on a larger scale, ramping up the quantities produced and sold from  the 19th century. It then became popular among certain wearers, notably for its practical and lightweight design.

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Yves Saint Laurent made it popular

Soldiers, country folk, workers and miners from Northern France were among the first mass espadrille wearers, favoring the shoe for its practical qualities long before it was considered a leisure shoe, let alone fashionable footwear. The espadrille gained considerable popularity in the early 20th century, but its design, characteristics and use progressively evolved. First of all, the legendary jute rope sole was switched for a rubber sole, then major fashion designers such as Yves Saint Laurent made it their own with reworked and reinterpreted designs, boosting its popularity.

It's not just boring canvas versions anymore

The espadrille is a 21st-century fashion accessory. Although previously shunned, the espadrille is now once again a popular choice for men, women and children from spring through fall. Many brands now offer models in rope, rubber and cotton canvas, manufactured by artisans in France or Spain. Espadrilles are now available in a multitude of colors and materials (synthetic, leather, lace, etc.), with flat or platform soles, and with various details and embellishments.

(Related: 10 Holiday Destinations To Escape The Summer Heat)

Get some now in time for your summer vacations.


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If denim can be a clothing staple, we don't see why can't it work for shoes. This one from Castaner mixes different textures to create an interesting look.

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Add some pep into your step with a pair of quirky beaded espadrilles from Chiara Ferragni.

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  Additional reporting: Cheryl Chan