Like spring flowers, new espadrille designs are emerging everywhere in Spain – a beautiful promise of sun and leisure that lie ahead. In our latitudes, we are still a good couple of months away from the warm sun, let alone laid-back hours of leisure, but one look at these ultimate summer shoes puts me in a sunnier mood. The espadrille collections I’m presenting today come from two espadrille specialist brands that we haven’t featured before: the Catalan Toni Pons and the Basque Juncal Aguirre or Calzanor.
Very proud of its Mediterranean character, Toni Pons produces six lines of espadrilles, including one for men and a winter one. The company has been around for a good long time – since 1946. It is based in Girona (my favorite espadrille brand Castañer is also based there).
These charming two-tone espadrille wedges from the “Origens” line are of typically Catalan criss-cross “bandaged” design, with laces starting at the very tip of the shoe and ending at the ankle. To help keep the laces in tension, they are strung through a leather strip sewn onto the jute-woven back. The 8 cm (3.1”) jute wedge has a rubber sole finish. Fresh, folksy colors on a natural linen background make these espadrilles a delight.
Espadrilles Barcelona is both a physical store and an online retailer that carries the largest selection of Toni Pons espadrilles. The company does not operate its own online shop. Toni Pons espadrilles designs are exported to many countries, including Canada and the US. Nordstrom, for one, sells a lot of models, including the ones from the winter collection. Espadrilles Barcelona also sells a similar version of this classic design but it features an adjustable leather ankle strap instead of continuing laces (see below).
These classic Toni Pons slingbacks from the “Essencial” collection feature quality metallic leather mounted on a rope wedge. Like the rest of the “Origens” line, this sleek espadrille is perfect for the city.
The popular “BCNA” slingback is designed for the urban setting. It features the same strong hand-sewn construction that is used in the manufacturing of all Toni Pons espadrilles. Unlike the traditional style espadrilles above, the “BCNA” slingback has a leather insole.
My favorite of the Toni Pons “Premium” line is the”Palma” sandal. I was immediately attracted to the fashionable striped pattern of the 5 cm ( 2″) jute platform and the shiny black leather of the upper. The black and white pattern is also repeated in the ankle straps. The 8 cm (3.1″) leather covered wedge, the peep-toe design, and the cool stripes make it one chic sandal. The leather insole, which is mounted on top of the stripy linen base, has extra padding, adding comfort to style.
Juncal Aguirre (or Calzanor for the international market) has been around since 1989. The family enterprise is based in San Sebastián, which is located in the northern part of Spain, the Basque country. The company exports over 70% of the espadrilles they produce, mostly to Europe, Japan, but also to the US. Juncal Aguirre/Calzanor espadrilles are made of first-rate leathers, using a mixture of time-tested machine and manual production methods. The brand makes espadrilles for both women and men. The designer, Naiara Elgarresta, is an accomplished footwear professional trained in Florence, at the prestigious Polimoda Fashion Institute. Her espadrille designs are meticulous in every respect and the styles range from trendy to downright glamorous. I can’t wait to own a pair of Juncal Aguirre espadrilles.
I love when designers play with textures: this “petal” effect is a visual treat. The slight wedge is very comfortable and the Roman-style laces show off your legs to advantage.
This sandal highlights the striking beauty of the leathers used by the brand for its espadrille designs.
This sandal has a moderate wedge – a practical feature. The delicate pearliness of the leather makes the reptile print look understated. The designer certainly has a very refined feel for texture. All in all, the design is both elegant and secure. This is one of those instances where a popular style is upgraded and made unique through a few well-placed touches.
Espadrille mocs are in trend, and so is fringe detailing, but leave it to the creative mind of the designer to create a unique piece thanks to the asymmetrically placed layers of suede fringe.
The “crown jewel” of the Juncal Aguirre Spring-Summer 2017, in my eyes, is this spectacular sparkling sandal:
I think you would agree that Juncal Aguirre espadrille designs are up there with the best of the best of fashion espadrilles. The question is: how do we get our hands on them? Besides Spanish retailers, both physical and on the web, Juncal Aguirre can be found on Spartoo, a popular French online retailer. It will take some time for this season’s designs to show up online, though.