“I’m Joana Martinez, owner of the shop ‘La Manual Alpargatera’, the most famous espadrilles shop of Barcelona. The espadrille is the typical Spanish cotton shoe with a wedge heel.
I invested a lot in the business since the 80s. I worked very hard to let people know about my shop and increase the business, but the major turning point for the shop was when I gave the Pope a pair of espadrilles which had been created specifically for him. From that moment on, the business began to increase more and more, and I was interviewed by televisions networks from all around the world.
We make over 500 types of espadrilles. Sole and rope compose the base, then creativity takes over.
With time many famous people started to come here, among which Jack Nicholson and Michael Douglas, who bought the ‘French camping’ design, which had been in fashion for over 200 years.
We also produce ceremonial shoes for the local Catalan police, the Mossos D’Esquadra.
We sell the type of espadrilles that we made for the Pope John Paul II, made entirely of vegetable fiber, cotton and braided rope. They suit everyone, even people working with computers because they collect the static electricity that the body gathers and then expel it”.