Enjoy the little things in life with comfort, simplicity and style
Our espadrilles carry an 80-year-old story, crafted since the 1940s in Carrer d’Avinyó. Here, we work with the knowledge of traditional craftsmanship with a twist of innovation, creativity and fun.
Mrs Emilia was a creative entrepreneur who in 1940 acquired a small espadrilles workshop in Carrer Brosolí. Her intuition told her that this humble footwear, made for peasants to use in the fields, had immense potential. And she was right.
La Manual Alpargatera opened its first store in 1941 at the heart of Barcelona. The iconic El Gòtic neighbourhood was the perfect place for Mrs Emilia to fix the workshop and present to society the pioneering concept of wearing espadrilles as an affordable fashion accessory.
Our espadrilles maintain the traditional materials and handmade means of production. The essential elements are a braided jute sole, a hand-stitched canvas, and ribbons, usually laced up.
La Manual Alpargatera was the first workshop to manufacture a wedged espadrille and dare reinterpret a millenary design. Soon after, espadrilles started to figure in high-fashion looks on the runways of renowned designers worldwide.
Mr Alfonso was a master craftsman at La Manual Alpargatera in the ’90s, and this drawing, which we tenderly call Alfonsito, inspired a series of photographs of him at work.
The quality of our craft has international fame. Some iconic personalities love(d) wearing our espadrilles, such as Salvador Dalí, Oswaldo Guayasamin, Jack Nicholson, Tyra Banks, Penélope Cruz, Ralph Lauren, Jean Paul Gaultier – even the Pope Jonh Paul II – among others.
Joana Martínez was a young assistant when she sold the very first pair of espadrilles from Mrs Emilia’s newly founded business. Little did she know that she would be the one leading the dream forward (while keeping its original essence) one day.
Ours is an emblematic shop. Many different nationalities pass through these doors, and we are always happy to welcome them with the tradition, culture and craft we love.
A new generation of the Tasies Martínez family is now the guardian of a valuable Heritage that continues carving its relevance in the XXI century.
In a world changing rapidly, La Manual Alpargatera advocates for the importance of keeping the authenticity of the craft. Here, it always smells like summer. Things develop at a slower pace because mass production is not an option. Every pair of espadrilles is handmade with care, customised according to its owner’s needs, preferences and taste. It couldn’t be any other way.
Comfort, sustainability and design: we know what we’re doing at our workshop