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Espadrille Sergeant

Espadrilles are casual, summer shoes originating from the Pyrenees Mountains, bordering France and Spain. Instances of the traditional shoe appear as far back as 4,000 years ago. The foot covering was originally made from rope and canvas – it was considered a peasant’s clothing item. They were even being worn around the XIII Century by the King of Aragons’ infantry men!

The biggest volume of espadrilles was sold to mine-workers in northern France. The shoe was particularly popular because the natural soles molded to the user’s foot and were considered very comfortable. An important craftsman during that century was referred to as an alpargatero, espadrille maker.

Espadrille Sargeant via The Walkup
Excerpt from the Dolce & Gabbana 2013 Spring/Summer Ad Campaign.

The term espadrille is French and loosely related to the Catalan word for esparto, a wiry Mediterranean grass used in making rope. Today, many espadrilles are made with braided jute, raffia, twine, straw, hemp and other tough, natural fibers. Have I whet your appetite for shoe history? Enjoy a complete and thorough origin story – here.

Espadrilles became fashionable in the US of A in the 1940’s because of Lauren Bacall’s character in the 1948 movie Key Largo. Audrey Hepburn, Pablo Picasso, Grace Kelly, Ernest Hemingway, John F. Kennedy and Salvador Dali were also known to sport these chic, unisex, summer footwear.

Join the ranks of famous espadrille wearers – choose your own pair, below:

Casual Espadrille Choices for Summer Shoes

(clockwise from top right) Nine West Immunity Espadrille; DIANE von FURSTENBERG Espadrille Platform Wedge Sandals – Origenes; ASOS HIPPY Wedges; Stella McCartney Zebra-printed Espadrille Wedge; Kate Spade New York ‘lucie’ Espadrille Sandal in Cobalt Patent; Enzo Angiolini – Nomas High Platform Wedge Espadrille Sandals; Pierre Hardy Cube Print Espadrille – Red/Black/White; Chloé Platform Espadrille Sandal – Nude.


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Poster Child

Posters, with their history in marketing, communication and low-cost propaganda are designed to be both eye-catching and informative. Posters have been around almost as long as civilized society – they advertised the plays of Shakespeare, dammit! But, the modern poster, as we know it, can be traced to 1870 when the printing industry perfected color lithography which allowed for the possibility of mass production. Previously, all text or imagery could only exist in a black and white medium.

Quickly adopted en masse by great European artists, the poster famously came to be used by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pierre Bonnard. The poster has been adopted by artists of many contemporary movements (in almost any language) – from Bauhaus to Art Nouveau to Surrealism to Cubism and Hippie Counter Culture.

Not just for college dorm walls anymore! 

Photograph by Lincoln Barbour

A home theater has inviting velvet chairs, funny Mexican movie posters and pillows made from vintage silk scarves. The home on the Oregon Coast was decorated by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design. Photograph by Lincoln Barbour.

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Ceisweiler Poster

The classic, French wine and spirits poster features a simple image of a bottle laying back at an angle with a ghost of a glass superimposed. The Art Deco design was created by Lajos Marton in 1921. The clever image is an easy way to bring an antique, time-travelling vibe to an otherwise contemporary space.

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The Design Files

The Coburg, Melbourne home of Emilio Fuscaldo and Anna Krien. Photography by Sean Fennessy. Styling by Lucy Feagins of The Design Files. The color of an exposed brick wall, is the perfect backdrop for the German advertisement of Zoologischer Garten München featuring leopards.

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Alan Design Studio

A Chicago, Illinois home, with close proximity to Wrigleyville, pays homages to the stadium lifestyle with a retro Coca Cola poster by Alan Design Studio.

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Not able to purchase reproductions or giclee canvas prints? Head over to for 100% free downloads of classic designs. Many of the retro images are sourced from the Public Domain, Library of Congress and other libraries. Free Vintage Posters offers hundreds of high quality printable posters in advertising, travel, food, drink, art, movies, westerns, military, magic and more. Download these high-quality, professionally scanned beauties, print on heavy stock and frame them yourself for an decor inexpensive option!

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Suza Designs

A contemporary residence in Hilldale, California by SÜZA Design features an incredible book and movie poster collection. To unifiy the multi-colored area, each poster was framed in a thin, clean and black, museum quality frame. All furniture and wall fixtures are in soft, neutral tones which allow the space to not become overwhelming.

A fan of movie posters? Head to FVP for many retro options, here.

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Ouriço Arquitetura e Design.

Ouriço Arquitetura e Design‘s vintage French posters bring levity to a children’s room. The space in Impanema is bright and cheery with a sense of humor. Jour de fête, is a 1949 French film by Jacques Tati. I particilarly love the industrial, blue table lamps on an antique trunk.

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Bedroom Breakdown

Interior design of Sabine Marchal

The Parisian owner, who brought many French pieces and ideas to this apartment in Madrid, retains a balance between feminine and masculine. The interior designer, Sabine Marchal,  paired classic comfort with glamorous touches of lucite and metal – très chic. The bed is framed by two dark columns. The tables lamps are by Maca Muñoz Victoriana Decoracion. French graffiti artist, Miss Van, breaks the formal tone of the bedroom. “Painting on walls was a way to show that I was boycotting the conventional art world,” Miss Van explains.

The high-brow, Gothic den is also playful. The carpet, Dolz Collection, and chairs, LA Studio, eggplant velvet Gancedo, complete a set of glossy and dramatic aubergine. Image via Nuevo Estilo.

Featuring Miss Van, Target, 1st Dibs, Burke Decor

Shop by the Numbers: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6