Our Story


No, this isn’t our espadrilles saying hello. Although if they COULD talk, it would certainly be in Spanish, the language spoken by the multigenerational craftsmen that created them in La Rioja, Spain. Wearing these shoes conjures up sunny days in Mallorca, the lilt of flamenco music, and the taste of paella. So yes, these handcrafted espadrilles have plenty to contribute to a conversation.

But the Hola! up top? That’s actually me saying hello. Michael Tonello here. Nice to meet you and thank you so much for visiting.

My love affair with espadrilles began soon after I relocated to Barcelona years ago. Like so many things Spanish, they seemed a perfect marriage of stylish form and function. However, after many years of working in fashion and as a reseller of all things Hermes (my rather unusual career is detailed in my memoir Bringing Home the Birkin), I developed a definite taste for the unusual and beautiful. And although there were many amazing espadrille designs out there, none of them had quite the sheen of luxury and style I was looking for.

Inspired by years of silk scarf collecting, I came up with the idea of repurposing high-end scarf designs into comfortable and handcrafted footwear. ¡Y ahí está! Respoke was born. Every pair is handcrafted; every pair is unique. I hope that you will enjoy wearing a pair as much as I enjoy wearing mine.



Hasta la próxima,

Michael J. Tonello, Respoke Founder



P.S. Here’s how they’re made …