We are delighted to welcome blogger Stephanie Greeves to guest blog on our site! Stephanie is an Australian-based lifestyle blogger, fitness and nutrition enthusiast.
From Nada to Prada: The Story of Avarcas
The Avarcas keep gaining in popularity all around the fashion world. Being comfy and stylish at the same time, they’ve been informally labelled as the latest must-have footwear. But, have you ever wondered what kind of story is hiding behind their success? Apparently, the Avarca sandals have literally made their way from nada to Prada.
Avarca’s humble origins
The Avarcas have their origins in the island of Menorca – one of four Balearic Islands off the eastern coast of Spain. Since they were handmade by the farmers for their own needs, they were considered a peasant shoe at first. The farmers of Menorca used the leather from dead livestock, mostly ox, in order to make the footwear that would protect their feet and endure the hard labouring work. They were soft, practical and hard-wearing. The original Avarcas were entirely made from leather and sewn by hand. Having an open toe, these sandals were suitable for hot summer days, but not so convenient during the colder months. In the winter, peasants would stuff the hole with a dry straw in order to keep their feet warm.
First documented description of Avarcas
One of the first graphic illustrations of these unique handmade sandals was provided by the Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria, who settled on the nearby Island of Mallorca after travelling the world and writing encyclopedias. In his book from the end of the 19th century, “Die Balearen”, he described the Avarcas as “really quite ugly and in winter… very uncomfortable”. But still, it didn’t stop them from being nearly the only shoes worn on the island.
Twist #1 in the story of Avarcas
The first twist in the story of Avarcas represents the moment when cars came to the island. As the rubber of car tires was thinner and more flexible than the leather, the peasants and shoemakers started using it to strengthen the sole and straps of the sandals. Not only did rubber prolong the life of their Avarcas, but it also made them practical for wet weather and uneven terrain. Which meant the world to peasants working on the rocky fields. How valuable rubber became to the people of Menorca evidences the fact that it was even used as a form of payment.
Twist #2 in the story of Avarcas
According to the local historians, the crucial point in the story of Avarcas was the year of 1955. In 1955, many people from around the world were guests at the Pregonda country house owned by a local middle-class family. The guests would walk down the rocky beach wearing local handmade footwear. However, they considered that their bulky appearance wasn’t appropriate for the ladies. For the reason of this, the hosts hired a local shoemaker to transform them into a more classy design. And that was the event that changed the sandals’ history forever.
Avarcas takes the world
Due to the new look, Menorcan sandals had no longer be associated with their humble origins but became something that amazed both locals and tourists. Until then, tourists started taking the pair of sandals back home to France, Italy, Germany, Britain, and that’s how the Avarcas became fashionable all around the globe. You can find handmade Menorcan Sandals in Australia. Due to the hot climate, Australian women find these shoes especially convenient for any occasion.
Avarcas as we know it
Since Avarcas represent everything that women look for – stylish, yet practical and comfy pair of shoes, they’ve become a top-trend in almost every part of the world. You can find the genuine handmade leather sandals that can suit every woman’s style and preferences. Apart from traditional neutral colours, there’re also sandals for those who like vivid colours, animal prints, metallic and glitter.
To cut the long story short, the Avarcas made their way from the fields of the small island of Menorca to the world famous catwalks. No matter what brand, style, or colour you choose your Menorcan sandals to be, you’ll get comfortable, yet trendy shoes that you’ll gladly wear for many years.
D & B