In Hot Pursuit of the Best Designer Silks

One of the perks of making these espadrilles is that the research and legwork required for innovation has nothing to do with laboratories or control groups. This past month my team and I traveled to Paris, Madrid, Barcelona and Florence in hot pursuit of the best designer silks in the world. We came home with …

New Year, New Shoe

    I wrote a little recently about how the holiday season, specifically Christmas, is a bit different in Barcelona. But New Years Eve here is remarkably similar to the States. They do have a national tradition involving eating 12 grapes, one at each stroke of midnight, but other than that charming and tasty addition, …

Tio de Nadal

When you move to a foreign country as a full-blown adult, as I did, there are a lot of things that run through your mind in the weeks beforehand. I suppose any time you do something that involves serious change, your brain sort of throws up roadblocks … subconscious anxiety that varies in legitimacy. I …

Provincetown Painter Kathy Cotter Celebrates Respoke Espadrilles

After mounting a phenomenally successful show (no fewer than 20 of the 25 paintings on view had “red dots” – indicating SOLD) “Seeing the Light,” an exhibition of Kathy Cotter‘s Lighthouse paintings (two of which are below), one would think that Ms Cotter would take some time and lie by the pool with an icy …

Boston Herald: Step into vintage luxury with Respoke espadrilles

Sara Hermes espadrilles featured at
Sara Hermes espadrilles featured at

Everything old is new again, or so the saying goes, and Massachusetts native Michael Tonello has taken the concept to a chic new level. The author of “Bringing Home the Birkin” (Morrow, 2008), who’s a luxury resale expert, takes vintage Hermes and Pucci scarves and turns them into gorgeous summer espadrilles. He and his line, Respoke, will make a Nantucket appearance at the end of the month at local luxe retailer Serenella.

“I’ve always believed that if something was once beautiful or expensive then it’s still beautiful and still has value. When I attended an auction in Paris back in 2000 for vintage Hermes and Louis Vuitton, I saw firsthand how spectacular some of those articles were and still are,” Tonello said.

Read the full article on the Boston Herald website

Fashion Unfiltered: Why Don’t You…Wrap Your Feet in Hermès Scarves?

Every morning, Michael Tonello makes himself a cup of Earl Grey tea and goes online to scour the all corners of the Web for vintage Hermès scarves. But Tonello is not a collector—they are actually for his espadrille brand, Respoke, which repurposes vintage silk scarves (also from brands like Gucci, Pucci, and most recently Alexander McQueen) into luxury shoes, entirely handmade in Spain.

Read full article here at Fashion Unfiltered

Respoke in Japanese press

Respoke goes international. We have been reviewed by Cafe Globe, a Japanese fashion publication.   梅雨入りしたとたん、梅雨明けとそのあとにくる夏休みが待ち遠しくなります。 自分だけのエスパドリーユ 夏、快適に履けるエスパドリーユ。 明るい単色のものが定番ですが、大人の女性にぴったりのものを海外のインスタグラムで見つけました。 To see the whole post, visit the Cafe Globe article here.

Silk Serendipity (Part Deux)

If you happen to have read my memoir, Bringing Home the Birkin, you may know that I am a big believer in serendipity. In my experience, when you are on the right path, things just sort of “come together.” Not to say that there can’t be bumps on the way, but overall, you can SEE …

How to Behave on a Yacht

Receiving an invitation to go “yachting” can be one of summer’s highlights. Technically a “yacht” just means pleasure craft, one not used for commercial fishing or commercial shipping—so a 30-foot powerboat qualifies. For our purposes, however, we will define a yacht as a boat that requires the owner to have at least one paid crew …