If you renting a luxury villa in Saint Tropez this summer and glance down to look at the ladies’ feet amongst you, you might well notice that a certain leather sandal appears to be in vogue.
And that same sandal – the Tropezienne – has been in fashion for many years now since it was created in the 1930s in a small workshop in a back street of Saint Tropez.
Not to be confused with the delicious cream-filled pastry of the same name, the Tropezienne sandal was first designed by Armenian refuges Mr and Mrs Jacques Kéklikian in 1933 in a shop in rue Allard, close to some of our more central villas to rent in Saint Tropez.
Also known as K. Jacques, the first leather shoes were made to measure for each and every customer including Brigitte Bardot, who came to Saint Tropez as a young starlet and fell in love with the picturesque port and all that it encompassed.
In the 80-odd years since the company was founded, the K Jacques brand has gone from strength to strength, with three sales outlets in Saint Tropez itself as well as a showroom shop in the Marais quartier of Paris.
K. Jacques has also collaborated with some of the most prestigious designers in the world such as Isabel Marant, Karl Lagerfeld, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Missoni, which has helped to establish its reputation as a luxury brand.
Still very much a family firm, however, the company now employs more than 25 people and exports to all corners of the globe, including America, Japan and Africa.
Although some of the styles of K Jacques have not changed since the pre-war days, there are now many more designs and colours involved in making these hand-made sandals.
Celebrity fans of the Tropezienne, which are the perfect footwear to slip on in the heat of the summer in Saint Tropez, are numerous and include models Miranda Kerr and Kate Moss, as well as actress Hilary Duff.