Hall of fame

Espadrilles have been worn by many artists such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, their relaxed personal style that helped make the shoes very popular. Afterwards, it was because of celebrities like Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy, Catherine Deneuve, Caroline de Monaco, Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, Sophia Loren, Her Majesty Sophia, Queen of Spain and even Jean-Paul II that the espadrilles’ popularity continued to grow. Even Gaston Lagaffe (Euro-comic book hero) made it his trade-mark shoe.

Sophia Loren also glamourized the alpargata in the 1960s, parading the pages of glossy fashion mags in high-heeled espadrilles with boldly coloured ribbons criss-crossing her calves. You’ll still see them on the Paris runways (and on Paris Hilton) but in fact alpargatas are of humble origins, shoes of the paisanos, simple country folk who tilled the soil and lived off the land. The very espadrille ribbons that Sophia Loren strutted to stardom were born out of the most practical of necessities: to keep the alpargata snugly on as the farmer sloughed through the manure of his field at the crack of dawn. The official gala uniform of the Mosses d’Esquadra, Catalunya’s national police force, includes a sombrero de copa (top hat) to represent the rich, and espardenyas for the working class. In staying true to their roots, alpargatas are still remarkably cheap.

Salvador Dali

Young JFK

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly with Cary Grant in Barcelona, 1952

Ernest Hemingway

Penelope Cruz

Doña Sofia, queen of Spain

Don Johnson, Miami vice

Gaston Lagaffe (famous European comic book character)


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