History of the Espadrille

Did you know the Espadrille name derives from ‘esparto’, the species of plant that was braided to create its iconic sole?

They were also originally crafted in the Occitania and Catalonia regions of France and Spain as an easy-to-wear utility shoe.
 
History of the Espadrille
So where does the style come from?

Designed using canvas with a jute rope sole, they became increasingly popular in the warm weather due to their flexible sole and lightweight feel. They’re also unisex, and have in the past been worn not only by the King of Aragon’s infantry in the thirteenth century but also by mine workers and priests.

The shoe became synonymous with the Catalan national dance, Sardana, where dancers wore espadrilles with ribbon ties around the shin, known as ‘Espardenya’.
Rita Hayworth wearing Espadrilles
When was the big break?

The espadrille skyrocketed to fame in the 1940s following their silver screen appearances in films such as ‘The Lady From Shanghai’ & ‘Key Largo’.
In the 1970s, fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent commissioned the first ever wedge espadrille and the style became an instant hit!
2019 Espadrille style

As you’ll have gathered from browsing our site (if you haven’t yet, make sure you do after reading this blog!) you’ll have seen that today in 2019 there’s now a variety of Espadrille styles to choose from. Don’t worry, we still have the classic style, as well as mule versions (very 2019!), and low, mid and high heel versions, which each come in a variety of colours and variations.

I know we may be biased, but with a history like this, we definitely think the espadrille should be your summer staple.