Launching The Espadrille

Have you ever celebrated something by "launching the espadrille"? People in Spain never cease to surprise me with the things they get up to, including this yearly espadrille launching festival, celebrated in the Cervera village of La Rioja. If I've learned anything in my four years of writing the Spanishoegallery Blog (it is hard to believe, but the blog is celebrating its fourth anniversary this year), it's that Spanish shoe makers know a thing or two about people and about happiness.

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Fresh Espadrille Designs for Spring

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.

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Running With The Wind: the Shoe Designer from San Sebastián

Naiara Elgarresta, from Urretxu (pronounced Urrechu) in the Basque region of northern Spain, wanted to be a shoe designer since she was six. On the weekends she would badger her father into taking her to San Sebastián, the closest big city so that she could window shop for shoes, hats, and other accessories. Then she would return home and craft her own fashion pieces.

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Shoe Shopping in Chamberí

Shoe shopping in Chamberí is a very pleasant experience. Small, centrally located, this Madrid neighborhood is within walking distance from the posh Salamanca. Yet the vibe is different. Chamberí is low-key

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Dance The Night Away

New Year's Eve, or Sylvester Night as many know it in Europe, is tomorrow. On this occasion I wanted to leave all the readers and visitors of the Spanishoegallery Blog with something light, frilly, and fun, like this avarca sandal made by Alpargatitas.

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The Esparto Advantage

Esparto is a resilient grass with tough narrow leaves that gave its name to the espadrille (via the Catalan espardenya or the southern Spanish esparteña). This reed grows in Spain, North Africa, and many other dry and semi-dry areas of the world. As a material, the esparto grass possesses two indisputable advantages: it is very resilient and highly breathable. The art and know-how of esparto craftsmanship would be in danger of disappearing if it wasn't for people like Alejandro Sevilla, the founder of Espartéame. The company makes and distributes design objects made of esparto to professional decorators, various types of businesses, and regular people who have a connection with the material and want to have it in their home.

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Barcelona’s Gràcia Major Block Party

As if Barcelona wasn't exciting enough, every year since 1817 the neighborhood of Gràcia throws a giant "block party" - Festa Major de Gràcia. This year it's on from August 15 to 21.

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Castañer Summer Sale

It's not even the middle of August yet, but the Fall-Winter collections are already replacing the summer inventory, which is being sold off at ever increasing discounts. I could not possibly cover all the sales that are going on at the Spanish (and not only Spanish) shoes and accessories brands right now, HOWEVER....I can't resist covering the current summer sale that is happening on the Castañer website. Despite a seemingly limitless number of brands that are following the espadrille trend, the demand for Castañer's high-fashion espadrilles (and for many other Spanish-made espadrilles) is not likely to be affected. Castañer's long-standing association with world-famous fashion houses, its very distinct design philosophy and strong brand identity, its commitment to quality and a correspondingly high price point put it in a league of its own. In short, Castañer espadrilles have long become iconic objects of desire. And currently, this summer collection is being sold off at 30-50% discounts through the Castañer online store, as well as Net-A-Porter.

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Sanfermines is on in Pamplona! This is the July 7, 2014 #ootd (Outfit Of The Day) from the Instagram feed of the Pamplona-based stylist and fashion blogger Ane Hernando:  

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The espadrille – that classic of Spanish summer wear – is so popular that there are scarcely any women’s shoe brands, from mid-level to luxury, that do not have espadrilles

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