That’s right, they originated from the Pyrenees and are Catalan by birth. I bet that was a fact all you beach-clad ladies didn’t know. I mean who knew the incredibly worn-down and probably not very expensive shoes, probably on your feet right now as the temperatures warm up, had such as history to them. Espadrilles (which is actually a French word but derives from the Catalan word for shoes, espardenya) have been worn by both men and women since the 14th century. Wow, fashion really is cyclical.
I discovered an amazing Espadrille store here in Madrid that has a little history of its own. Antigua Casa Crespo has been in business since 1863 in the Malasaña neighborhood. The store is small, quite old and stacked with rows and rows of Espadrilles in every color and style you can imagine – for both men and women. The Queen herself has come by for a visit.
On my first visit I immediately came home with a pair and have subsequently returned for a bunch more (I am taking orders now for those outside Madrid). The owners of the store are very friendly. The man is working on his English so perhaps you’d like to visit for a language exchange if anything.
Antigua Casa Crespo, Divino Pastor 29, 28004 Madrid Tel: 91 521 56 54