La Manual, it is the fashion espadrilles first workshop. Since 1940.
The history of La Manual begins right after the Civil War, when Mrs. Emilia Martinez, a Catalan entrepreneur, came up with the idea of doing something that no one had thought of before: to introduce the traditional espadrille into fashion, a shoe that until then had been used for work, in the countryside or folklore, and even sports, but never before as a fashion element. To make this idea a reality, Emilia bought a small traditional espadrille workshop where she instructed professional espadrille makers to give the espadrille an innovative style, introducing for the first time ever, wedges, heels, embroideries, and other elements.
In 1941, La Manual opened its doors to the public in its workshop on the emblematic Avinyo street, a space that to this day preserves its style, its essence and its craft techniques. Currently, La Manual is the only and last traditional espadrille workshop in Barcelona.
La Manuel kept growing tradition, maintaining the traditional know-how to preserve this culturally related trade. It is the source for most catalan cultural groups espadrilles, as well as for the catalan police holiday dress. They are a reference in their field, and the only who maintain certain traditions, not only in Barcelona, but probably anywhere.
Artists, singers, actors and actresses have passed through the Manual.
Salvador Dali was a recurring client, a fan of the “Pinxo" model. Dali's visits never went unnoticed, the sales clerks at the time said "... look, that eccentric who came to buy the "Pinxos" is now famous and appears on TV..." Salvador Dali was not only a buyer, he also recommended our espadrilles. Dali used to wear his espadrilles all the time, once he caused a sensation at an exhibition in Paris by wearing his espadrilles with a tuxedo suit.
Some devoted fans are Jack Nicholson, Jeanne Moreau, Penélope Cruz, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore and Raven Symone. Salvador Dalí also used to wear them along with Pope Jean Paul, Oswaldo Guayasamín (perhaps the most eminent master painter and sculptor of Latin America), Queen Silvia of Sweden, Ralph Laurent and Jean-Paul Gaultier.