Saint-Tropez is a sun-kissed coastline renowned for its glitz and glam – but forget yachts and champagne for a moment - one of the peninsula’s most subtle yet famous signs of style luxe is to be found… when you look down. In a cheery workroom smelling of leather, Atelier Rondini’s classic le Tropéziennes handmade sandals are the kind of thing the fashion crowd go simply wild for.
First opened 90-years ago by Dominique Rondini as the first sandal cobbler in Saint-Tropez - back when the likes of the fashion world’s Coco Chanel were gracing France’s favoured Pampelonne beach, (who knows, in le Tropéziennes?) - Atelier Rondini has since grown into a tight family business, delicately crafting robust leather sandals in myriad colours and styles, synonymous with elegance, comfort, and the bronzed bod elite.
Using age-old methods that are a world away from the machine-led industrialisation that has hit much of the fashion industry, Atelier Rondini hand-makes everything, from the French leather soles that have been oak-bark-tanned for twelve months to, should you be in situ, the altering and moulding of them directly onto your perfectly pedicured self.
The authenticity of their distinct styles can be spotted a yacht-side mile away, and as we all know – eyes swivel down to judge a person properly, so, you might as well make the right kinda Saint-Tropez style impression from the get-go. From the classic Tropéziennes sandals and their gladiator-esque cut to Salomé’s thong design and the perfectly laced bikini, you can go bold with gold, pretty with python or classic with leather – but as most people find, you should probably indulge in a couple of pairs; they will last you a lifetime.
Atelier Rondini is a 20-minute drive north to France's Golfe de Saint-Tropez from your coastal design den of luxe Mediterranean style,La Réserve Ramatuelle Hotel and Spa, or La Réserve Ramatuelle Villas. Settled shoreside in less traversed but just as beautiful - Côte d'Azur and designed by architectural gurus, Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Rémi Tessier, La Réserve Ramatuelle is an exclusive retreat down the coast from busier Saint-Tropez, a bastion of peaceful French Riviera chic. Your Tropéziennes would fit here in oh so well.
Keep your glow going while checking out the coolest cats of the Mediterranean with our Unwaxed Lemons Edit, perfect for whether you favour the espadrilles of Spain or classic Greek sandals. Also have a peek in out Travel Journal for more on all things fashion such as Bally’s Geneva legacy, Paris’ Jeanne Damas and Poland’s thisisnon. Hop in the car from Ramatuelle and visit famous Villa Noailles, a prime example of early modernist architecture turned contemporary art gallery, once regularly haunted by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau.
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