A cut above: Spanish footwear brand, Castañer

A cut above: Spanish footwear brand, Castañer

Special feature

Text: Dora Aljoofri-Shrestha

Fusing Spanish tradition with a cosmopolitan spirit, why the 88 year-old heritage footwear label Castañer is just at home in the city as it is on the beach

Producing artisanal espadrilles since 1927, Castañer was founded by Luis Castañer and his cousin Tomàs Serra. Eight decades later, the family-run label remains well-known for its quintessential Spanish tradition, timeless appeal and its ability to innovate.

Castaner Special Feature

In the early 1970s, Lorenzo Castañer (son of the founder) and his wife Isabel catapulted the heritage brand to prominence after creating the first wedge espadrille at the request of Yves Saint Laurent. The successful creation quickly led to Castañer's appointment as the official espadrille maker for top luxurious fashion houses such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Tom Ford, Lanvin among others — a partnership which continues till this very day.

"If Yves Saint Laurent wanted a wedge espadrille, a wedge espadrille he would have!" — Lorenzo Castañer 

Today, Castañer shoes are still produced in Spain using natural materials and traditional techniques and processes. Each highly sought-after pair is handmade by espadrille crafters who come from a long family line of artisans; each generation passing down the savoir-faire to the next generation.

Still helmed by the Castañer family — Isabel and her four children — the brand continues to push boundaries and reinvent their popular kicks ideal for the beach and beyond.

Castaner footwear and accessories

While espadrilles should always have a home in any jet-setters' wardrobe, the ease and comfort of Castañer jute-soled shoes is a stylish and practical addition for any urban setting. This is exemplified by the brand's commitment to creating versatile footwear designed to tackle the concrete jungle (think: contemporary colourways and reinforced soles) while retaining its Mediterranean authenticity and originality.  

As the pioneering espadrille brand, Castañer has consistently worked in line with its tradition of craftsmanship and natural products making it the go-to footwear label for any occasion. 

Castañer espadrilles

1. Jute threads are coloured and reeled.

Castañer - Jute 

2. The thread is woven into a braid and brought together on a spinning table to form the sole. The braids are then stitched in a machine that was designed by Luis Castañer and Tomàs Serra in the 1920s.
Castañer - Reeling sole 

3. The braided jute sole is then vulcanized with rubber to protect the fibres and to strengthen its hold.
Castañer - Protect & Strengthen  

4. For the final step, different pieces of the fabric (that make the body) are hand-stitched to the jute sole. Hand stitching the espadrille together allows it to be flexible.
Castañer - Assembling 
Hit the streets in style with a Castañer espadrille. See below for our favourite key pieces from the brand's spring/summer and pre-fall 2015 collection.

For the ladies: Playful and chic
From brightly-coloured wedges to lace-up espadrilles, Castañer offers an array of joyous options.

For the gents: Smart and comfortable
Because there is more to men's footwear than just formal oxfords or functional runners. Check out these stylish espadrilles in coloured canvas and sumptuous suede.


Castañer, #03-14, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City