Summer is upon us, which means goodbye sneakers and boots, hello sandals. There’s a range of options available when it comes to summer shoes, although I’ve noticed one particular trend that is far more popular here in Paris than it was in Australia: the espadrille.
There is some contention about the origin of espadrilles. Do they come from Spain or France? We know that historically they have been made in Catalonia, Basque Country, and Occitania. But it was actually French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent who first created wedge espadrilles. And they were, and still are, a hit.
Espadrilles are a great summer shoe, whether they’re wedges or flat, sandals or closed-toe. But that’s not all that’s on the footwear docket this summer. Just as raffia bags are now a summer staple, raffia sandals are also an up-and-coming style. And if you’re looking for something more classic, go leather. Here are some of the best French brands making the perfect shoes for summer:
See by Chloé is the younger, more affordable, wear-everyday collection from French luxury brand Chloé. They always have great summer shoes. Their wedge espadrille sandals are gorgeous, accented with their contrasting signature scallop pattern made from vegetable-dyed calf leather.
The wedges also come in a fringed denim version, and a flat version with fringed cotton canvas or suede with a floral motif. (From my experience, these are best for a narrow foot, which I unfortunately don’t have!) For something more minimal, I love their mules with a calf leather strap edged with their signature scallop pattern in a range of summery pastel colors. Their black mules with two bows are also cute.
Charlotte Woivre’s raffia sandals are handmade by women artisans in Morocco. The raffia is a natural and renewable plant fiber obtained from African palm trees, and each piece is hand-finished with high-quality goat leather. I adore their easy slip-on flat Sandale Suzy Naturel with its double fringe. Another great summer style is their espadrilles. But they also have ballet flats, slippers, sandal wedges, and high heels.
According to Atelier Aliénor, only 1% of the world’s espadrilles are made in France, and they aim to rectify that. Atelier Aliénor make espadrilles for women, handmade in their family-owned workshop in Basque Country using authentic French craftsmanship.
Their espadrilles are made out of natural materials and they also upcycle, using leather that is a by-product of the food industry. Their tannery is family-owned in France and has the prestigious French certification “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (Living Heritage Company). What’s more, Atelier Aliénor offers free repairs for life.
While Aroa Genoveva was founded in 2019 in Paris, its history actually dates back over 100 years. The designer’s great-grandfather had a small atelier in the Canary Islands where he created and repaired footwear, especially sandals and espadrilles. This heritage was passed down and now Aroa Genoveva perpetuates the family tradition. The brand creates sandals and espadrilles using environmentally responsible materials, such as peace silk.
Their first collection, Manuela, features platform espadrilles that have been colored by WHOLE, a textile studio specializing in natural plant dyes made in Paris. The colors are inspired by the different environments of the Canary Islands. Aroa Genoveva has recently released a new flat collection!
Kilometre Paris is all about undiscovered destinations. They produce collections all over the world, entrusting local skilled artisans in the creation of their products. Each Kilometre product is handmade and embroidered to order. Most of their pieces are made from vintage fabrics. All Kilometre products even come with a passport (a travel map showing the origin of the product and a product map about the brand and its history).
The most eye-catching of their shoes are their babouches, which feature hand-braided grass panels laced with colored leather and are made in Morocco. Their Menorcan sandals are a catch too, made of 100% leather with customized bespoke painting or drawing on request.
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- Read about what to pack for summer in Paris.
- Discover our favorite French accessory brands.
- Another brand you could check out is St Tropez’s K.Jacques.
Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person (when possible)? Check out new marketplace shop and experiences.