Alpargatas also named espardrilles go back several centuries and are associated with Spain and the south of France . In their most basic form, they consist of woven rope soles sewn to a canvas upper.

cervera del rio alhama-rioja-alpargatas-espardilles

Cervera del Rio Alhama, in La Rioja is the espadrille cradle in Spain.

men wearing red and white alpargatas-espardrilles in the spanish village of La Rioja

Traditional alparagatas in Cervera, La Rioja.

artisan sewing alpargatas-espardrilles in La Rioja Spain

Artisan sewing. Traditional espadrilles have a canvas upper with the toe and vamp cut in one piece and seamed to the rope sole at the sides. Often they have laces at the throat that are wrapped around the ankle to hold the shoes securely in place. Traditional espadrilles are worn by both men and women.

alpargatas-espardrilles by castañer

Castañer, a family run company set up by Rafael Castañer in 1776, propelled alpargatas into the world of fashion. Isabel and Lorenzo Castañer met Yves Saint Laurent in the early 1960’s leaving YSL so captivated by these ‘peasant shoes’ that he made his own versions. From the 60’s onwards, alpargatas became synonymous with laid back glamour.

humphrey bigart wearing alpargatas-espardrilles next to a sleeping dog

Espadrilles became fashionable in the USA in the 1940s. Lauren Bacall’s character in the 1948 movie Key Largo wore ankle-laced espadrilles. Humphrey Bogart was also often seen wearing alpargatas.

Lauren Bacall alpargatas espardilles

August Vogue 1949 photo by Irving Penn-Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn-she was artist represented by Marlborough Gallery in Manhattan

August Vogue 1949, photo by Irving Penn. Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn after her modeling days, she was quite an accomplished artist in sculpture, painting and drawing. She was represented by the Marlborough Gallery in Manhattan.


Salvador Dali , alpargatas were his shoe of choice while staying in his studio.


Here sporting his alpargatas with Francoise Hardy.

brazilian bossa nova composer wearing his alpargatas-espardrilles while playing gitar

Bossa Nova composer Antonio Carlos Jobim was also a big fan of alpargatas or espardrilles.


George Harrison from The Beatles wearing alpargatas. From the 60’s onwards, it became synonymous with laid back glamour and cool bohemia.

biba alpargatas 70s espadrilles

Espadrilles by Biba. Vogue, July 1970.


Style icon Jane Birkin often wore alpargatas during the holiday season.


Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg, Kate and Charlotte in SaintTropez, August 1972.

Hermes men’s own take on alpargatas.

This time by Marc Jacobs.

Alpargatas or Espadrilles by Toms.