When you ruminate on Chanel's most iconic pieces, of course, handbags jump straight into view. Who can deny the decades-long tenure of a quilted 2.55? But if you put down the arm candy and step away from the tweed, there's another Chanel icon that always rises in popularity in the warmer months. One that encapsulates French Riviera dressing better than any other piece on the rail. Welcome to the reign of the Chanel espadrilles: an item that is searched for between 10,000 and 100,000 times a month, according to Google Analytics.
What makes Chanel espadrilles so sought-after? Let’s find out.
Now, while there's plenty of love for the Chanel chunky Velcro sandals (just open Instagram and you'll see dozens), it's worth noting that these flats are chic yet comfortable and inimitably elegant. Really, there's no other shoe that strikes the balance between style and sensibility quite so well.
No wonder, then, that Chanel espadrilles are fast becoming one of the fashion house's must-have pieces each and every time spring comes around. So to make sure you're in the know about these cult shoes, keep scrolling for your complete guide to buying and styling Chanel's iconic espadrilles.
Kendall Jenner styles her monochrome Chanel espadrilles with skinny jeans and a white shirt. Effortless and chic.
The Chanel Espadrille Backstory
Every icon has one, so where does the story of Chanel's espadrilles begin? Despite the classic non-branded espadrille itself dating back to the 14th century (granted, before Coco Chanel's time) and becoming fashionable in the 1940s thanks to Lauren Bacall's Key Largo wardrobe, Chanel espadrilles didn't debut until 2013, long after Yves Saint Laurent had made wedge espadrilles popular in the 1970s.
An evolution of the classic Chanel ballet flat, Karl Lagerfeld's S/S 13 espadrilles teamed a pastel canvas upper with the interlocking-Cs logo and an almost-gold toe cap. But as with all things Lagerfeld, things moved fast from there. The introduction of the now-famous leather version from the Parisian fashion house changed the game for summer footwear forever—buttery soft, chic, durable and great for the city as well as the beach.
The current resort and spring collections feature a hot medley of quilted lambskin patent-leather toe caps, as well as the fashion house's classic tweed. So if you've yet to join the gang, now's the time to strike.
Where to Shop for Chanel Espadrilles
Notoriously, Chanel still opts out of the online retail scene. You can view the latest offering on its website, but if you want to treat your feet to a pair of Chanel espadrilles, they're going to have to carry you straight to a Chanel boutique.
Price-wise, for a new pair, you're looking at leather espadrilles starting at £510 and going up to £560. Of course, you could be savvy and snap up a second-hand pair on a website like Vestiaire Collective, but it would appear that this one shoe style tends to hold its value, with pre-loved espadrilles going for closer to the £400 mark.
Chanel espadrilles come in many iterations.
Who Owns Chanel Espadrilles?
Aside from influencers and fashion editors, many of whom already own or, one day, hope to own, a pair of Chanel espadrilles, the shoe has a loyal celebrity following, too. We’ve already charted the fact that Kendall Jenner wears hers on her off-duty days, but you can also add the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Katie Holmes into that elite mix.
How to Wear Chanel Espadrilles
Just like all things Chanel, the list of espadrille fans is endless. From supermodels including Gisele Bündchen, Kelly Rowland, and Alessandra Ambrosio to street style stars Chiara Ferragni and Aimee Song, the cult footwear has graced the feet of many a fashion VIP, which just proves our point that with Chanel espadrilles, you really can style them with anything.
Keep scrolling for four ways to wear your Chanel espadrilles.
1. Skinny Jeans + Blazer
Style Notes: Smart denim, a checked blazer and a white blouse with statement cuffs. Just add Chanel's sleek black espadrilles, and you've got polished off-duty dressing sorted.
2. Monochrome Outfits
Style Notes: Use a graphic pair to breathe life into a monochrome outfit such as this white look.
3. A Classic Jumpsuit
Style Notes: If you're an all-black-everything kind of dresser, Chanel's nude espadrilles with black toe caps are the perfect alternative to summer sandals.
Feeling inspired? Take a look at our edit of the best Chanel espadrilles to invest in this season below.
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