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12 things you didn't know about espadrilles

Longchamp is commemorating this rope-soled shoe that has been a sign of good weather for centuries. A stroll down espadrille lane.

20 May 2016   | 

The espadrille (espardenya in Catalan) gets its name from esparto, a type of coarse grass used to braid soles.

This pretty summery shoe is still unique because the sole is made from jute rope or braided hemp.

True to its name, Longchamp espadrilles are masterfully crafted using their original material, with hand-stitched soles made of hemp rope.

Espadrilles are mostly loved because the soles let your feet breathe. They were popular with the royal Spanish army in the 13th century and were later worn by monks and miners.

The soles of Longchamp espadrilles are specially designed with elastomer-treated hemp rope so they feel nice and light in the summertime.

Espadrilles traditionally came in ecru or black with light colors worn on Sundays and the others during the week. That’s a cultural and historical excuse for falling in love with petal pink COCCHINO espadrilles to wear on Sundays and the stylish black SUNSET ones on weekdays.

Iridescent pastel, gold, black, navy, petal pink, and sky blue: the six colors in the Longchamp espadrille collection make it a fashionable upgrade of these legendary shoes.
Espadrilles became a fashion accessory around 1950 when they piqued the interest of fashion designers. In 1960, Yves Saint Laurent made a special order for the Fêtes de Paris and was the first to put espadrilles on heels.

This season, Longchamp is shaking things up by taking design queues from traditional models and adding modern feminine forms. Inspired by slippers or strappy shoes, they come with a 1/2 inch or 1 inch wedge heel for a subtle lift.

The traditional linen canvas has been replaced with smooth or embossed goatskin or metis leather.

Every fashion accessory has its cult icons. Referring to his mother’s style, Françoise Sagan’s son said: “My mother smelled like Chanel No. 5 and cigarettes, wore straight masculine cuts (…), espadrilles on vacation and leather boots without laces in Paris.” Espadrilles were also standard fare for other celebrities like Picasso, Dali, Humphrey Bogart and now, you.

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