In 2019, the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) added a new wedge to her wardrobe, the Castañer Carina espadrille.
The Duchess wore the wedge espadrilles to four public engagements in 2019, three in 2020 and none in 2021 so far (though I have no doubt we’ll see them again this summer!) Each time, Kate has paired the wedged shoe with a midi or maxi length dress for a fresh, modern summer look.
About the Castañer Carina Wedge Espadrilles:
The Carina wedge is part of Castañer’s Icon collection. The company sell the espadrille wedge in a range of different colour and fabric options, including the tan suede style worn by Kate. The Carina wedges come in multiple heel heights too, between 5cm – 11cm. Kate wears the 8cm style. The shoe features coordinating ankle ties. The heel and sole are made from jute.
Castañer’s signature wedge dates back to the early ’70, when Lorenzo and his wife Isabel created the first ever pair for Yves Saint Laurent – they’ve remained an iconic summer style ever since. Handmade in Spain from velvety suede, some recycled cotton for the canvas at the heel and natural jute rope, this camel ‘Carina’ version fastens with slender ties that wrap elegantly around your ankle.Net-A-Porter
Buying Kate’s espadrilles wedges:
UPDATED May 2021: Net-A-Porter stocks the Castañer Carina espadrille wedge in camel suede (RRP: $190 USD / £120 GBP). In the stock photo used by the fashion retailer, the tan wedged shoe looks richer in colour than the version Kate wears. Either this is a lighting/editing issue or Castañer have updated the colour for the new season. I suspect the latter.
Net-A-Porter also stock the Carina wedge in a rainbow of shades. Below, we show them in red, pink and black.
Castañer’s heritage can be traced back to the 1700s when Rafael Castañer, the family’s first espadrille maker, was born. Almost two hundred years later, Luis Castañer and his cousin Tomàs Serra founded the brand’s first workshop.
In the 1930s, Spain’s government nationalised the company because espadrilles were regarded as a product of military interest! Soldiers were sent to war wearing “seven-ribbon espadrilles” — at that point famous for their blend of durability and comfort.
In the 1960s, the business transferred to Lorenzo Castañer and his wife Isabel, who refocused the business. The pair decided to play with the shape of the espadrilles and add a bit of colour. The pair sought new clients from the world of fashion.
It was at a trade fair in the 1970s that Yves Saint Laurent spotted the espadrilles. He’d spent months looking for a company to make wedged espadrilles. The two companies collaborated and Castañer grew in prominence.
Today, the brand continues to hold a privileged position in the fashion world as the official espadrille maker for fashion labels including Chanel, Tom Ford and Hèrmes, among others.
Castañer now has shops around the world, including Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Singapore.