Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stepping out in hand-made espadrilles at Jute - Arles


Some things just go together. And there is no surer harbinger of the arrival of summer in Provence for me than rosé in my glass and espadrilles on my feet. This is how it has been since 2005, when we finally took the plunge south away from the grey of Paris and I have never thought twice about it. 


That is, save for earlier this year when I realized that one of my regular sources for espadrilles had changed purveyors and were now offering goods that were made in Bangladesh. Of course, this made me wince for several reasons. But then I thought of a little shop that had opened in the rue Jouvene last year. 


Jute. I had first heard about them from my then neighbor, the charming Alex of La Cuisine du Comptoir, who was sporting a smart pair in a suede midnight blue. 


But every time that I passed by the tiny boutique, I either didn't have the cash (for they don't take credit cards) or it was swarmed with customers.


All too soon, I could recognize their certain style on the best dressed young things around town. 

As winter rolled in, I regretted deeply not having bought a pair for myself. Would the store reopen in the spring?


Happily, Ian and Elena, the Britannic-Spanish couple behind the company were back with the arrival of the almond blossoms and I knew that my time had come to invest wisely. After all, I wear them every single day, weather permitting!

It was Ian who was in the boutique and he graciously explained to Remi and I the different sewing techniques and use of materials. As soon as I tried on one of their desert boots in tan suede, I knew that this was a whole other kit-n-caboodle than the stiff rascals that can be bought on market day. For my second pair, Remi pushed me towards a lime green slipper cut. That each pair is handmade was obvious in that the first that I tried weren't right and yet the second were perfect. Ian explained that each of the small team of sewers that work for them in Spain have a slightly different stitch, hence the variable. I loved imagining someone not so very far away was taking such care to keep one tradition a part of our everyday living history. And a walking one too. How far will my Jute espadrilles take me? Only time will tell. And certainly, before then, I will be back for more...


Jute
Magasin des Espadrilles
rue Jouvene near the corner of rue Tour du Fabre
13200 Arles

www.jute-arles.com 
Their website will be operational in September and yes, they speak English. 
Until then, feel free to contact jute.arles@gmail.com

Prices: roughly between 25€ for a basic canvas pair to 50€ for suede and 60€ for the amazing toile print above.
All well worth it...


PS. I am sorry for the quality of the photos but I still haven't found my battery charger for my camera since the move! Hopefully soon...

49 comments:

  1. Wow, I want those desert boots! But I know when shoes are handmade, trying them on is a must. Ah well, I'll just have to enjoy them vicariously through you.

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    1. I bet if (once their website is running) you sent them your measurements it could work! They are awesome...

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  2. The quality of the photos is good enough to make me want a pair!

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  3. Just tried the website as written and it re-directs to GoDaddy.

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    1. Yep, have to wait until September. I will give a shout out here when it is. :) Glad the photos are ok enough...

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  4. OOOPS..I have been pinning..so sorry, I just read your message. Added the shoes and some of your previous photos for colour reference for Tahilla Farm..I always love your colour schemes. Please let me know if you prefer I remove them..happy to do so. xx

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    1. I am not a fan of pinning because of what has done to Remi's income as a photographer! But what is done is done and thanks for asking. :)

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  5. Those are the cutest things I have seen in a long while. I've missed some of your recent posts. Summer keeps distracting me with outdoor stuff :)

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    1. As it should be! I can totally see you in one of these with the wedge heels...trotting around Malte!

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  6. Those look fabulous!! I want a few pair!

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    1. I think that I might need to go back for more... :o

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  7. First of all happy belated birthday - it only gets better!
    Lovely pics, I will add this magazine to the places I will visit in September.

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    1. Arles is September is the best...of course I am biased... ;)

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  8. The shoes! Reason enough to move to the area! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. heeheehee There are MANY good reasons to move to the area... ;)

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  9. Love the toile print and the black with flower espadrilles. I will try and visit the store when in Arles in September.
    Thanks for the heads up Heather. ox, Gina

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    1. Gina, I have forgotten when you are coming? I hope that we are here!

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  10. Rosé in your glass and espadrilles on your feet? How perfectly Provence! Oh, I want the toile pair. Love, love, love (I feel a painting coming on)! How lovely to discover something so beautifully handcrafted. Thanks for sharing your secret with us, Heather.

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    1. They cut the toile from one cloth on purpose so that you don't have two tigers or whatever. Very cool.

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  11. I'm going treat myself to the toile pair as soon they are available on line...so cute!

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    1. Sue, see what I wrote to Jeanne above. They are really great!

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  12. I adore these! I love this art become more easily available. I found a shop who made these to order in Biarritz that made your color with heel height. I said they should be online but they just looked at me funny so it is nice to see a shop give people a chance to purchase these who aren't there!

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    1. Yep. And that way there is also, conversely, plenty of stock still in the store for the local fans, of which there are many...

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  13. Some weeks ago I saw a documetary from which I learned that the traditional katalonian Espardenyes are also worn by men. And they showed how the sewing machine did the soles stich. Oh my, I would not want to put my fingers anywhere near that machine. (:

    They all look nice! But in this part of Europe they start to molder before you wear them twice.

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    1. Ah, maybe a move to the South of France is in order, Silke? ;)

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    2. Aww, my self-pity has been too obvious! (;

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    3. Or maybe I just want you to move here!

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    4. Oh, I'd love to do so, ... but unfortunately this is not yet possible ... not permanently ... (;

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  14. Well I am no shoe fashion aficionado but I can definitely attest to some things going together! For me, it's seasons and certain foods. For instance, I will only eat chili in autumn and Oreo ice cream cake in September. Weird I know.

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    1. Weird is good. That I know too. :) And these look awesome on the guys Keith.

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  15. Dear H. ,
    I like the toile pair very much! They are sooo comfortable! They remind me of my youth. Have a nice 15th August!

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  16. One can walk or sit with them forever. Art, comfort, and Provence. Beauty spills and spells.

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  17. Thank you Heather this was very unexpected! Yes, our website will be up and running in September but we welcome your emails at jute.arles@gmail.com much love Ian and Elena x

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    1. You are so welcome! Happy to spread the word about an awesome company and nice people... :)

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  18. Commissions due Heather - we are all waiting now for September to see if we can order!! Cheers - I echo the others - they look pretty special!!

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    1. Very cool for both men and women - and they would be a standout down under, Wyn!

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  19. Love, love the look of these espadrilles. And they are obviously very comfortable, too.

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    1. Remi had never worn them before and he said, "They massage your foot!" and I was like, "Why do you think that I have been wearing them for ten summers in a row??" ;)
      Bon Weekend!

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  20. What absolutely gorgeous espadrilles! I've bought a few pairs this summer (made in France, always have to check!) and love them - so fun and practical. One of these days I will splurge on a beautiful pair like these. I'll be checking out the website in September!

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    1. The difference in the quality is HUGE. And I love the cute colors - even though I am usually not a color person! But there were some fun pairs in flourescent tones too. :)

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  21. You've turned espadrilles into art! How lovely!

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  22. Finally my beloved French espadrilles fell apart this summer….."Jute" is another reason why we should make a journey south sooner rather than later. Warm regards
    (P.S. French rosé is our preferred beverage during the French summer.)

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  23. Oh. Mah. God. These are the cutest shoes I've ever seen!!! But I really wish you had posted a pic of both pairs on your feet! (they sound AD-OR-ABLUH!!!). Yay for cute new shoes and for promoting this company on your site!

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  24. Yes, the difference must be huge and obviously I bought the only one in the wrong quality. The fabric was stiff
    and I go always blisters. uuuh.....anyway the colours ...sooo vibrant and I couldn't decide which one I buy. Anyway Espadrillos never run out of fashion ....think about J.F.K. b.t.w. did you receive my mail?

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  25. Nothing like a bright pair of new shoes to cheer up the day! SO beautiful. Thinking of you, tripping the light fandango fantastic provencal... je t'embrasse,
    G

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