Rope-soled, espardeñas – or espadrilles for those on the other side of the Pyrenees where the shoes originate - have been our summer footwear of choice this year, and we’re tempted to see in another season using them as slippers. They might be lightweight, but esparilles are in fact much more durable than your average fashion footwear: made in Catalonia since the 1300s, espadrille makers both ancient (Casa Hernanz and Castañer), and modern (new brand Mymu) have between them shod many a stylish bod over the years.
The democratic shoes hitting the high street in Spain, in general, are far from plain. While Italy has long been associated with the quality cobbler, the long running Spanish brand qualities are – as with the espadrille – comfort and classic design. Camper, for example, with its Jaime Hayon designed flagships and boutique hotel, has made walking into a lifestyle business. Chie Mihara, with its natural leathers and modest heels, vies only with Menkes’ bright flamenco styles when it comes to perfect dancing shoes.