It’s Riviera beachwear par excellence—the flat, strappy leather sandal the French call the spartiate. And the family firm of K Jacques has been handcrafting them in their Saint-Tropez workshop since 1933, when Armenian shoemaker Jacques Keklikian opened a small workshop-boutique at 25 rue Allard. Still a family firm, K Jacques continues to cut and sew fine sandals by hand, but the line now includes fashionable styles with cork wedge soles and heels in materials such as calfskin, python, alligator and sharkskin—some evening styles even sparkle with Swarovski crystals. With designs for men, women and children ranging from the classic to the wildly eccentric, K Jacques has collaborated with designers from Balenciaga and Givenchy to Karl Lagerfeld, Kenzo and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. In addition to its original Saint-Tropez address, K Jacques now also has a boutique in Paris, and a few exclusive shops in the US carry a limited selection of their styles. But the full range, including the fun faux-fur Diane Leopard, can be ordered directly from the website, so that even those who can’t get to the Côte d’Azur can celebrate summer in tropézienne style.
25 rue Allard, Saint-Tropez; 16 rue Pavée, Paris 4th. website
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