As we mentioned in our roundup on ethically made shoes last year, it’s so hard to come by amazing quality shoes that are both socially conscious + sustainably made when building a conscious closet. You can find me out and about walking in my neighborhood on most days, so I wear out my shoes pretty quickly and over time have learned just what a good investment a nice pair is. So you can imagine we were pretty thrilled when we connected with Laurie of Atelier Alienor, an ethical shoe brand that specializes in espadrilles handcrafted in the South of France.
The Alice Sandals are their bestsellers (though I’m not really sure how anyone chooses when browsing the rest). Laurie, who is now based in Houston, designed them when she was still living in Paris. She says, I think they’re a good representation of la Parisienne’s style: timeless design with a chic and elegant detail. I sourced the lace and ribbon in the finest boutique in Paris, where all the most luxurious French brands get their ribbons.
The shoes are handcrafted by their French craftsmen who have passed the traditional skill sets down through generations.
Laurie’s story… I was born in the south of France where espadrilles were created. In this part of the country, everybody has been wearing espadrilles forever. These shoes became the symbol of our lifestyle (authentic, made from natural materials–we have a strong culture of sustainability in France–and they’re the best shoes to beat the heat as they’re so comfy and perfect for a casual style). So when I moved from Paris to Houston last year, I wanted to bring a piece of our lifestyle stateside. I gave up my corporate job in finance to launch the brand.
Personally, I hadn’t worn espadrilles before, let alone handcrafted ones. But if you’re a major flats wearer like me, these are the perfect way to dress up your outfit just a bit without sacrificing comfort. At first, I thought the buckle might not hold me in the shoe well enough, but you can adjust it as tight or loose as you want, so they actually fit perfectly. The black is perfect for fall and the jewel strap makes it so you aren’t too casual when wearing them with a dress (always my problem with flats) but aren’t too dressy when throwing them on with jeans. Have I said the word perfect enough?
Oh, and the soles are made from jute, when you might know as one of my very fave eco-friendly materials.
As for the giveaway, be sure to check in on Instagram tonight to enter for your chance to win a $50 shop credit to Atelier Alienor to put toward a pair of espadrilles of your choosing.