On Spanish style influencer Gala Gonzalez’s summer agenda: travel to 18 destinations, eat authentic Mexican food (in Mexico), lots of skin moisturizer, and French electro-pop. Throughout this, the Amlul blogger will be packing Gala sandals, designed by Pedro García. Her namesake shoes are just the latest in an ongoing collaboration between Gonzalez and fellow Spaniards Mila and Pedro García. “I have a deep personal relationship with them,” Gala says. “Also, I’m truly happy to spread a Spanish brand worldwide!” It’s an obvious fit for the fashionable brunette beauty who favors comfortable flats and fun times. “I feel very identified with their ‘think party, wear daily’ philosophy,” she says.
If you need more proof that sport sandals have hiked out of the backcountry and into the mainstream, look no further than Japanese cult brand Suicoke. This quirky, anonymous collective initially specialized in Russian nesting dolls (featuring characters like the Grim Reaper), but soon transitioned into footwear—with spectacular results. A partnership with legendary Italian rubber manufacturer Vibram has resulted in rugged, stylish sandals beloved of hypebeasts and fashionistas alike.
Kristin Frossmo has been with Nordstrom for 29 years—almost as long as her identical twin sister. She started out selling shoes in the Seattle store and now, as an executive vice president and general merchandise manager, has what many—including her—consider a dream job: she oversees all footwear.
Wearing white Céline booties and a Chloé skirt, Kristin met us in her office overlooking downtown Seattle to discuss her career and advice for young professionals, as well as her passion for shoes that dazzle—and top picks for spring.
Come spring, your wardrobe is ready for a refresh, even if all you want to do is relax. But don’t get anxious searching for new styles. Seasonal dressing can be simple and easy, like your favorite pair of sandals—which are also getting an update this spring.
The Birkenstock Arizona—yes, that one—has always been a pretty low-key, crazy comfortable shoe. It’s simple and sturdy: that’s the appeal. This spring, however, the 240-year-old brand decided that their classic could use a reboot. Don’t worry—that cushiony cork footbed remains. As do the velvety nubuck leather straps. But you’ll be surprised by these Birks’ flashy new hardware. “The Big Buckle allows us to offer a fresh perspective and have fun with a little footwear ‘bling’ without compromising on our original, authentic footbed,” said Jacqueline Van Dine, Birkenstock VP of Merchandising, about the new Arizona Big Buckle. “So you get a little sizzle with all the benefits of underfoot support and comfort.” That bit of flash caught our attention, as well as that of Elle Senior Fashion Editor Sarah Zendejas. “The larger buckle elevates the shoe, with curved edges of silver and gold hardware, and the polished gleam of metal complements the leather perfectly,” Sarah said. As a tribute to their new favorite spring sandals, she and her team at Elle put together five perfectly relaxed ways to wear the sparkly new Arizona.
When it comes to casual comeliness, California girls really do have it down—all the way to their toes. We took some foot notes on the sandals that the ladies in L.A. and Palm Springs are wearing this summer. It’s a thing we like to do.
Click on a pair to shop these sunny soles or similar styles right now.
Stephanie von Watzdorf is a highly-regarded fashion designer with nomadic tendencies. Before founding her fashion line, Figue, she graduated from Parsons School of Design, where she was awarded the Calvin Klein Golden Thimble. Then she worked for Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren and Tory Burch. Her personal life is equally impressive. Stephanie was born on the outskirts of Paris. She travels incessantly, far and wide, with her photographer husband for work and for pleasure.
Her life seems truly bohemian. And her fashions are like wearable wanderlust.
Stephanie von Watzdorf in Haiti
When traveling, especially a lot, nothing is more important than your footwear. Stephanie knows this well and her travels inform what she wears and creates, often with the aid of local artisans. Her designs, like her Scaramouche sandals crafted in India from supple leather, reflect regional and traditional styles. Suffering for fashion has its limitations—especially when crossing borders and wandering foreign cities—but with Figue sandals, there’s no need to sacrifice your feet or your outfit.
We caught up with the chic trekker to talk about travel, photography (she shared some pics from trips to Kenya and Tanzania) and sandals.
Images by Jesse Rivera; styling by Jodi Taylor; modeling by Doug Ta’a
Summer is here and sandals are on our mind and feet—and not sandals worn purely for function, like beach flip-flops or shower shoes for the funky locker-room floor. We’re talking about sandals worn out in the world, for style.
Drop “mandal” from your lexicon immediately (to ensure it dies, don’t even say it in jest). While we can’t endure that term, we sympathize with your sandal anxiety. Not every guy can wear them with style; that’s what makes this a medium-to-high-swagger move. You’ll have to BYO confidence.
We spoke with men’s senior stylist Jodi Taylor on how to wear sandals and discussed the big puzzler: socks or no socks. As usual, she had the answers.
Image courtesy of butter London
Nothing quite ties a spring-into-summer outfit together as a pretty pedicure to go with your sandals. When you’re polished up and stepping out in new shoes, you feel unstoppable—until you run into a street sign or a coworker because you were busy admiring your feet.
To inspire your shoe gazing, we’re featuring the season’s hottest sandal styles matched with equally exciting polish shades. But watch out: these combos are distracting.
Cool comfort is the key to surviving the summer festival season in style. And shoes are your foundational piece. After all, you’ll be on your feet for hours and hours, likely over several days. No matter the weather, no matter the crowds, you need to be able to dash between stages, dance to songs, stand in lines and look great.
Birkenstocks have long been a favorite shoe of concertgoers. But forget their jam band rap—not that getting down to the Dead is anything to condemn—Birkenstock wearers cross musical genres and fashion styles.
So that your dancing feet remain ready and your fashion credibility doesn’t appear fishy—or Phishy—we recruited Nordstrom Senior Stylist Jodi Taylor to offer some simple tips on wearing these comfy, cork-soled sandals.
As shoe styles from the resort season move over to make room for new spring arrivals—like these from Prada, the Alexander McQueen double-strap, Vince’s entire new suite and these Loeffler Randall slides (insert hearts-for-eyes emoji)—we’re really feeling the whole genre-mashing sportif angle. You know: socks and sandals all day long, and sneakers accessorized with anklets and slouchy knee-highs.
It works well with our Wellness Realness focus too, so we decided to hit pause on cold-weather boots and take a spin through a selection of street style snaps from our girl Crystal Nicodemus to examine how fashion’s best and brightest rock the look.