Our first item, espadrilles, is dear to my heart.
Espadrilles first date back to the year 1322 in Spain. If you people watch in Madrid or another Spanish city, its amazing to see every single woman is wearing them, young girls and old ladies alike. It's truly a part of the culture, and there's nothing more typically Spanish (OK, possibly olive oil).
I’m half Spanish and spent childhood summers around Spain with my mom and grandparents. I've worn espadrilles for as long as I can remember, and I never feel more myself than when I'm wearing them. For me they're comfort and summer. The feel and even smell of espadrilles reminds me of Paradores (castles turned hotels), the Mediterranean, and my grandmother’s (Penelope Casas) favourite tapas.
My grandmother, circa 1970 in a style similar to our Chueca #OGgirloftheearth
Upon landing in Madrid as a kid, I would go first to the pastelería (for miniature pastries), quickly followed by the alpargatería (espadrille store). Today I still have the same tradition. I may also owe the start of Girl of the Earth to espadrilles. They're my friends' most demanded item, especially now that I'm spending so much time in Madrid with my grandfather, who just moved back to Madrid after 40 years in New York City. They were an obvious first item for Girl of the Earth-- and while international brands have attempted them, something stays invariable: authentic espadrilles are made in Spain.
An expert's guide on how to wear & take care of your Spanish espadrilles:
- AVOID wearing them in the rain- their rope and canvas is dense and seriously takes forever to dry.
- Tie them by first crossing behind (not in front of) your ankle- they're cuter and more flattering this way.
- Knot the ends of each tie (for long lasting).
- When people ask where to get them: "sorry, got them in Spain!"