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Castañer's origin can be traced back to 1776 the year when Rafael Castañer, the family’s first espadrille maker, was born. In the year 1927, Luis Castañer and his cousin Tomàs Serra founded the brand’s first workshop.

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Spain’s Republican government nationalized the company, because espadrilles were regarded as a product of military interest. Soldiers were sent to fight at the front wearing “seven-ribbon espadrilles.” After the war, the country slowly began to recover, but the slow process of industrialization meant that there were fewer and fewer farmers in need of footwear. This was a trying and a difficult time for the company.

A generational shift was witnessed in the mid 1960s when Lorenzo Castañer, a lawyer and his wife Isabel moved to the helm of the firm where they decided to refocus the business. The product signified simplicity but the couple added a dash of colour to it. Now seen as an authentic Mediterranean product, it became a fashionable form of footwear, especially in the Nordic countries.

In the early 70s, Lorenzo and Isabel attended a trade fair in Paris, where fate smiled on them. Three young Frenchmen came up to their stand, looked around and began to ask questions. Isabel recognized the one with the most thoughtful look: Yves Saint Laurent, who had been looking in vain for months for someone to make him a wedge espadrille.

Ever since then Castañer has been attracting top fashion houses and making them espadrilles. Following the sudden death of Lorenzo, Isabel took over management of the company, a task which she currently shares with four of her children, who represent the brand’s seventh generation. Castañer opened its first own shop in Barcelona in 1994, followed by a chain of shops in Madrid, Paris, Saint Tropez, Tokyo and other cities in Spain and abroad, including some of the most illustrative locales in the Costa Brava like Llafranc and Cadaqués.

Some Important Dates:

Rafael Castañer, the family’s first espadrille maker, is born.

Luis Castañer and his cousin Tomàs Serra found the brand’s first workshop.

The Republican government nationalizes the company.

Lorenzo Castañer and his wife Isabel assume management of the company.

Lorenzo and Isabel meet and begin working with Yves Saint Laurent. This leads to work with other international fashion firms.

Castañer opens its first shop in Barcelona, leading to the international expansion of the brand.

Isabel Castañer, at the helm of the company, is honoured and awarded with the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.