As long ago as 1830, in the Basque town of Mauléon, Alexis Bascans was already crafting his first espadrilles at 13 yrs old.
The weaving company Les Tissages Lartigue is founded to weave cloth for espadrilles and berets and in time will develop their own famous range of Basque linens. They weave the cloth used by the Bascans to make their espadrilles. By now Jeanne has taken over running Bascans and is expanding the company with innovations in both design and colour. She marries Paul Lartigue in 1922.
In the Pyrenees, the Bascans family’s company was renown across France, thanks to this typical Basque shoes. It was chosen by the connoisseurs as one of the most comfortable shoes. And now, two centuries later, Gratianne and Amandine chose to revisit the sandal, named “Bascans”, and introduce it into their creations. The sandal is lined in natural linen and hemp for unequalled an unequalled comfort, and uniquely styled with a composition of rare leathers and new colors. The sandal “Bascans” sign als the tradition and the heritage at the same time.
A result of
The cloth « Bascanaise », in cotton and linen, is quite
unique, being supple, durable and waterproof. It is printed by the best French artisans bearing the highly coveted « entreprise du patrimoine vivant » accreditation.
The methods used by these “living heritage” artisans require three successive printing processes to apply three different colours, a method known as “la lyonnaise”.
The fabric is laid out on long heated benches, and the colours are applied using stencils. The fabric is thoroughly dried between applications, and finishing touches are applied by hand using fine paintbrushes. It’s a slow and exacting process which guarantees a result of lasting beauty.
The source of
The Basque cross, consisting of four commas fanning out from a central point, is symbolically loaded. The struggle between light and darkness, the role of the
four elements of creation (water, earth, wind and fire), and the life-shaping forces of the four seasons, are all played out in this one spiral motif.
The five-point star
represents knowledge. It is inspired by the apple, fruit of all temptation, but also the fruit of knowledge: cut an apple in half horizontally, and you will find this five point star shape in the arrangement of the pips.
The three other patterns are representations of the sun. Prior to the introduction of Christianity, the sun was both feared and revered by the Basque people. Many circular stones, paying tribute to the sun god, can still be seen throughout the territory. These five symbols, along with the initials “GB”, are framed by an inverted herringbone: the Pyrenees triangle taken from the Bascans family crest.
The South West of France, of France offers a countryside rich in colour and tradition. It was the source of inspiration for many noted artists including the famous painter Edouard Manet. He moved his family to Oloron-Sainte-Marie where he painted one of the houses belonging to the Bascans family.
Alexis-Louis has taken over fromn, his parents and the company is growing. The espadrille is the height of fashion at Biarritz. Napoléon III and his wife Eugénie spend the Summer there at their villa, (now the Hotel du Palais), and are joined by many of the crowned heads of Europe and wealthy foreign socialites. L’Impératrice Eugénie , arbitre de l’élégance, aurait elle aussi, chaussée la célèbre sandale.
Between Tradition and Modernity
Gratianne Bascans delivers its interpretation of the luxury and excellence according to its collections of High Leather goods. Under the leadership of Gratianne and Amandine a universal identity was born in its bags, luggage, and small leather goods. Remembering its culture of excellence, Gratianne Bascans collections are exclusively French manufactured with perfect lines, nobel materials and quality finishes.
Gratianne Bascans engages artisans distinquished by the label «Entreprise du patrimoine vivant» reflecting the utilization of talent and accuracy in the pure French craft tradition: tannery, weaving, Ironworks, sewing and shaping.