Today at Studiostore in Barcelona arrives a new brand in town. The Rice Co. launches a new line of Plimsolls with a modern twist inspired by the ones our grandfathers wore when we went to the camping. That exciting birth adds a new reason to declare that this is will be the year of the local artisans and industry in Spain. I talk about that last week in a post entitled Nuevo Patrimonio, and I’m sure we will come back more times with new debuts. It is something that is on the air since the last four years and has to be with the fact that if we join the great local artisan potential with the addecuate branding it’s possible to multiply the bussiness opportunities.
The Rice Co. shoes have been launched with all the 2.0 era’s advantatges. A nice website, all the social media channels ready, cute pictures that will delight the most trendy bloggers and an online shop with a really competitive prices: 35 euros for Made in Spain shoes is a high bet. As they tell us on their website, that kind of footwear was worn by Mediterranean Fishermen and hipsters of the time like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. But maybe the most interesting thing is that these handcrafted shoes are made in the same factory using the same molds and by the same expert shoemakers that have been making them for decades. With an attractive range of colors, The Rice Co. shoes go from the neighbourhood shops to one of the most exclusive selling point in the city: The Outpost.
Pioneers updating a local industry were Maians. That brand that turned in something fashionable de tyipical granny shoes mades their production in La Rioja using local materials and vulcanized rubber. Behind the designs there is Alfonso de la Fuente (Pichiglás), a veteran interior designer well know for his love for retro that has gave back the original slippers: “the ones that have walked through Spanish streets, beaches, bars and coffe shops during the last century”. A perfect torur de force that upgrades with affection the popular vintage aesthetic.
Another brand really attached at their country heritage and that thanks to that vision has gained some recognition is the basque Loreak Mendian. In April of 2011 they launched the capsule collection Mahón, made by hand-made mahón blue fabric in Vergara, Guipúzcuoa. The most interesting thing of that old story is that material that inspired the collection, used really often for the workers uniforms, was originally a replica of a “chinese idea”, because was created in the far East. The collection was entirely bought by the Parisian Colette.
Another Spanish artisanal revival that crossed the frontiers was the Antonio García’s hats thanks to the online shop Aprill 77. El fashionista blog was who put us on track past August about that surprising collaboration between the ultra cool French shop and the traditional Sevillan artisans that consisted in an exclusive limited edition. The Cordovan Hat never looked so delicious with the context created thanks to the April77 envelope.
The designers from Plomo’s brand, the Mexican Galia Katz and Spanish Keltse Bilbao have been able to get attention in the American market with their shoes. For example, their “menorquinas” Made in Spain in a earthy set of colors are already available at Madewell online shop. That traditional sandals seduced the big brand that define them as “supercomfortable – and superstylish-.”
Maybe next year will be the year of “menorquinas”, because the actually one all the eyes are on the espadrilles, another footwear deeply settled in the traditional Spanish clothing that was revalued thanks to the iconc brand Castañer. That “poor” footwear has been enriched on the catwalk with new finishes and luxury textures. Naguisa, another brand new artisan Spanish proposal offers a delicate version of the typical espadrille with sweet tones and eco-leather heel-pad. But having in mind all the possibilities that the new artisans have they offer a unseen approach betweek sandal and espadrille with their model Len Black.