At the dawn of the 21st
were the default summer footwear for those seeking to bring the beach mentality to the city. By 2006, TOMS Shoes
had hit the market and made urban dwellers realize that the lightweight canvas shoe was preferable to exposing the naked foot to the filth of the streets. Five years later, fashion trendsetters are replacing the now ubiquitous one-for-one kicks with another simple canvas shoe: the classic espadrille
: The son of a diplomat and a fashion model, Soludos founder Nick Brown grew up as a globetrotter
. During childhood summers in Spain (when he first spotted espadrilles), his European style sensibility was born. Once transplanted to the U.S., he was surprised to learn that espadrilles were not the affordable, accessible basics he’d known them to be in Europe. So, last year he launched Soludos, an espadrille brand that’s become a key ingredient in the summer uniforms of fashion insiders. In addition to its primary collection of Mediterranean-inspired solids and stripes, the line’s new collaboration with Opening Ceremony
sees the rope soles paired with bold floral and ikat prints.
: Like its sister retailer J.Crew, Madewell has filled its shelves with meticulously curated third-party brands. Whereas the former’s “In Good Company”
selection consists primarily of heritage and luxury labels, the latter’s “Label Lookout”
boasts a strong lineup of emerging indie designers, one of which is espadrille company Ropey Soles
. The line, which Madewell asserts is being sported by “all the cool girls” in Europe, is based in the UK but sourced from France. In fact, Ropey Soles is careful to emphasize its support of authentic, small volume, family-owned factories
in the town of Mauléon, as opposed to most other espadrille manufacturers, which have since moved production to larger, low-cost facilities in Asia.
: Statesiders whose summer beach excursions don’t get any more exotic than encountering the characters that haunt the local boardwalk
can still experience more worldly locales via fashion. The Espadrille Store is an online retailer specializing exclusively in traditional Spanish espadrilles. Known as alpargatas
in Spain, the footwear is handcrafted in Cervera, a small village in La Rioja, Spain. While their basic look adheres to Basque tradition—jute soles, rubber bottoms, canvas uppers—the store affords customers a cornerstone of modern consumerism: the ability to customize
. Shoppers can choose
from 23 color combinations, 7 laces styles, and 16 laces colors. We dare you to order just one pair.