When Justin Doss speaks, we listen. The GQ editor recently gave the thumbs up to Zabattigli espadrilles, reminding us of our own unwavering loyalty to this classic rope-soled shoe. But more than just the style, it’s the craftsmanship of the Capri-made Zabattiglis that makes our hearts sing.

They were the discovery of resident Italophile (and leader of our menswear division) Tom Kalenderian, who below describes that first chance encounter:

Despite of the fact that I am on vacation (resting, supposedly), when in Italy, I often find myself wandering off the beach to ferret around resort towns like Capri. I’m always discovering something of interest, whether it be a pack of hand-colored vintage postcards or my new, and now favorite, espadrilles by Zabattigli.

I discovered Zabattigli espadrilles in a small shop near the Piazzetta. The store, which has been around for three generations, has been known to sell to notables like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. I wonder if the trendsetting Duke traded in his monogrammed British velvet slippers for a pair of Caprese espadrilles once he returned home back to the castle?

The shoes take over 50 steps to make, and each is still stitched one by one—as illustrated by the beautiful photographs below.

1. Craftsmanship - Handmade

1. Craftsmanship - Shoe Trees

Bottega bw

Maestro Costanzo Ruggiero

photo (1) square