Check out super shoe blogger Hannah Rochell's (aka @enbrogue) espadrilles post on her wonderful blog, En Brogue, where she discusses their origins and how they have now become a high fashion summer must have.
Shoes and Office Dress Code: How Alice X Global May Have the Answer
Office dress code has been under the spotlight since Coronation Street actress, Nicola Thorp, was sacked for refusing to wear high heels whilst working in a temporary receptionist’s role at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in London.
Now that Nicola has a life on the cobbles as character Nicola Rubinstein, she’s able to wear whatever the wardrobe department provide, but her petition and appearance before a Parliamentary Select Committee, not only received 150,000 signatures demanding a change to office dress code laws, but also changed the way employers view their female workers’ footwear.
Having said that, there are certain industries in which high heels are still expected – hospitality, retail and airline environments being just three in which employers believe sexier footwear is important. But what other options than painful stilettos are there, if a woman wants to look good in her shoes and express her personality, as well as panache? Believe it or not, the luxury espadrille could be one of the answers for 2018.
Whilst Yves Saint Laurent gave the espadrille a wedged heel in the 1960s, and film stars like Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly and Lauren Bacall, all demonstrated a love of espadrilles in the movie days of old, there has been somewhat of a revolution in the world of espadrilles thanks to new brand, Alice X Global.
This comes in the form of sophisticated premium leather upper, on top of the traditional rope-jute sole that has distinguished the espadrille for centuries. However, it goes much further than this. The leather used in Alice X Global shoes is a five-panel affair, combining five different shades of leather within one shoe. This gives a unique look to these espadrilles, which cannot fail to catch the eye, regardless of which of six different espadrille options you choose.
So why has nobody thought of this before? The answer lies in the fact that it is extremely hard to dye hides in different colours and create shoes from each differently-coloured hide. It is also expensive to do and most shoe manufacturers just wouldn’t bother.
But that’s where Alice X Global is different. The brand was founded on the basis of a vision to bring colour to the streets of London and beyond and this led to a worldwide search for a leather supplier that would work with the brand, to create a wholly unique espadrille. Eventually, Alice X Global found their supplier and the rest is history.
Thanks to the campaigning of Nicola Thorp, we hope to see many Alice X Global shoes worn in the workplace this year, with their wedge heel being a compromise between a high heel and a ballerina flat. Whether the office worker goes for a sophisticated Cabo (navy and grey tones) or Bora (teal and navy hues), a can-I-get-away-with-a-bit-of-colour choice of Mahe or Moyo, or the colour-splash options of gelato-inspired Cala or festival-evoking Rico, ladies everywhere might just be thanking Nicola for what she did to shake up shoes in the world of work.
Alice X Global Espadrilles – The Festival Shoe for Summer 2018
Festival season is just around the corner and the good news for festival goers is that there is a new festival footwear option that puts the fireworks into fiesta and brings a riot of Rio colour to any concert.
The new Rico espadrille from Alice X Global is a true carnival shoe, with its five-colour offering within one luxury leather upper, sitting atop a 30mm natural, raised and braided-rope sole.
Its two outer front panels are vibrant fuchsia pink and the two inner-front panels vivacious turquoise. Lime green is the choice for the outer-side centre panels, whilst inner-centre panels are canary yellow. A solid berry-coloured back is the ultimate finishing touch to the extraordinary espadrille extravaganza.
These stunning shoes, which will co-ordinate or contrast with almost any summer outfit you want to wear to a music festival, whether that’s Capri pants or jeans, are just one option within Alice X Global’s six-shoe range which spans pastel and gelato, quintessentially English, marine, urban, and S/S 2018 sulphur-yellow suburbia tones.
Priced at £115, with a 25% discount for first-time purchasers, making the price £87, these are the perfect festival shoe, so read on to find details of where you could be wearing them this summer.
Top Summer Music Festivals in the UK (at which to wear your espadrilles)
BBC Radio’s ‘The Biggest Weekend’, Belfast, Perth, Swansea, Coventry, May 25-28
Download Festival, Donnington Park, Derby, June 8-10
Parklife, Manchester, June 9-10
Isle of Wight Festival, Isle of Wight, June 21-24
TRNSMT Festival, Glasgow, June 29 – July 1 and July 6-8
Wireless Festival, Finsbury Park, London, July 6-8
British Summer Time, Hyde Park, London, July 8
Latitude, Southwold, July 12-15
Lytham Festival, Lytham-St-Annes, Lancashire, July 18-22
Bluedot, Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, July 19-22
Truck, Oxfordshire, July 20-22
Bestival, Lulworth Castle, August 2-5
Neverworld, Hever Kent, August 2-5
Boardmasters, Newquay, Cornwall, August 8-12
Boomtown, Winchester, August 9-12
RIZE, Chelmsford, August 17-18
Creamfields, Daresbury, August 23-26
Reading & Leeds, August 24-26
The fabulous Lucy from one of the UK's hottest lifestyle blogs Shiny Thoughts, was loving her Bora shoes in her recent trip to Jamaica, "...they are super colourful and amazingly comfortable, the perfect beach shoe!"
Another fantastic competition, this time with Melbourne based British blogger Alice from the award winning lifestyle blog "A Tea Party With Alice". Over 4400 entries this time with Mandy from Lancaster winning a gorgeous pair of our Cala shoes. We hope that you love them as much as we do Mandy!
Named after “esparto” the woven rope used to make the iconic jute sole, espadrilles were first produced in the thirteenth century in the Catalonia and Occitania regions for the King of Aragon, who began outfitting his infantrymen with them. The shoes were lightweight, sturdy enough for hand-to-hand combat, and easy to replace.
Worn in Spain by everyone from priests to mineworkers, for the Catalan national dance, Sardana, in which dancers tied espadrilles to the shin with ribbons, and with all the resources needed to produce them so close at hand, espadrilles soon became the Spanish footwear of choice.
Over the next several hundred years, their popularity spread throughout Europe. By the eighteenth century an industry had also been established in Mauleon, France, where they began crafting the shoes’ uppers from cotton. Then, in the mid twentieth century they were popularized by cultural icons. Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Ernest Hemingway who all donned espadrilles during their time spent in the Mediterranean.
Stylish and easy to wear, the espadrille has now become an essential part of every woman’s summer wardrobe. Each season they can be seen on catwalks across the globe in very possible iteration, but there is only one five colour espadrille in the world and that is Alice X!
We recently ran a competion with one of the UK's most popular bloggers, Cassie Fairy, and we were completely blown away by the number of entries. Over 7000 people entered to win one pair of Alice X shoes! The comments were pretty special too! Thanks everyone for entering and look out for another competition soon.
It's fantastic to have Made In Chelsea star and top UK blogger Rosie Fortescue on board. Here she is on holiday wearing her Alice X Cala shoes and looking lovely as ever!