Photo Credit: Friend of Soludos
Nick Brown, founder of Soludos
What does the brand name ‘Soludos’ mean to you?
My favorite times of the summer normally involve a few friends gathered over a few casual drinks on a lazy summers afternoon, so I wanted to try to capture that feeling in a name and to give a nod to the Spanish heritage of espadrilles. With that ‘Saludos’ the Spanish word for ‘Cheers’ and ‘Sol’ for sun were combined, and ‘Soludos’ was born.
Our regular customers love your espadrilles. Please tell us a little about the history of handmade espadrilles and why have they endured so long.
Espadrilles have been sold in the markets and on the beaches of Spain and France for centuries. The word espadrille is actually derived from the word ‘Esparto’, which is the Spanish for grass used in the woven soles that form the core of the shoe. It’s the woven jute (a type of grass) soles that breathe on even the warmest day that makes Soludos the perfect summer shoe.
They have such a timeless style that fit so perfectly in with the laid-back Mediterranean summer lifestyle that is their heritage.
You use an array of fabrics for your designs. What are some of your inspirations for the type of material and color selections?
Color is the foundation of our designs as the summer is always the best time for a pop of color no matter the occasion. We love to use authentic weaving and drying techniques in our fabrics that we import from all over the world.
This summer we imported beautiful hand woven ikat fabrics from India, each yarn is dyed and woven by hand so each pair of Soludos is unique. Also we imported shibori dyed cotton canvas from Japan, iconic yet understated patterns with subtle textures.
Espadrilles bring to mind relaxation, vacations, and an easy carefree life in the sun. While we know water should be avoided while wearing them, yet one of our customers confessed to creek walking! To what extremes have you seen espadrilles used?
Haha that is amazing, well creek walking definitely tops the list! I have friends who never take off their Soludos whether they are riding their bike, walking in the city or dancing the night away so they seem to work for any occasion. I find Soludos are best for those lazy summer days in the city or at the beach.
Many of our urban customers thrive with a prideful light foot. How do you recommend wearing them in diverse urban situations?
Well we are based in Soho, New York so I can relate! In the summer we all do pound the pavement in our Soludos but try to avoid the rain and the puddles.
Where would you like to be right now?
I’m actually writing this e-mail from Cape Town, South Africa. We are launching Soludos down here. There is an amazing energy down here and the landscape is so dramatic with mountains descending steeply into the ocean with beautiful beaches in between. Freezing but refreshing swims with fresh line fish for lunch and dinner. I’m feeling very lucky to be here and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!
We’ve heard you are a big music lover, what are you be listening to this summer?
Crystal Fighters – Star of Love. Just saw them live in NYC a few weeks back and they were amazing. Who would have thought Spanish folk music meets electro would sound so good? The whole album has been playing on repeat since.
Thank you Nick.
Cheers to the Summer