Shopping, Travel Tips
With the fever for the woven-bottomed shoe at an all time high, I couldn’t help but do a little Espadrille canvassing (pun intended) of my own when visiting France’s Basque region a few weeks ago. Derived from the Catalan name for the shoes, espardenya, the espadrille has been made on the French side of the border since the 14th century. Although many of the better known shops export globally (Pare Gabia, for example), I was intent on finding a boutique with a signature Basque flair, ensuring my shoes would meet stares of envy along with distinct ‘foreign-flair’.
What I found was the charming, colorful boutique, unlike many manufacturers that have taken their production abroad, Artiga still fabricates everything in southwest France, earning it the distinguishing Origine France Garantie label. Age-old Basque materials like pure cotton and a sturdy linen-cotton blend are now employed in everything from colorful striped table linens, deck chairs, and sun hats, tote bags and change purses.
But when it comes to the espadrille, ask and ye shall receive. Artiga makes three different types: the traditional peasant-shoe style, a newer ballerina flat with a shorter top cut as well as a heeled wedge. For the classic, I recommend the Castilian espadrilles, so patriotic in red, blue and white. For the modern lass, the ballerina cut has a more feminine feel not to mention a more flattering shape on the food while summery Menditte fabric is guaranteed to garner an envious second glance.
Artiga Maison, St. Jean de Luz, 13 rue Garat, 64500, St. Jean de Luz