Arizona Love is a Paris-based fashion brand that includes trekky sandals, woman’s wear and accessories. It was established in 2018 by French designer, Leslie Halfon. After spending a summer in Arizona, she was inspired to make shoes that reflected her experience in the sun and the desert. The label’s signature sandals give a modern edge to practical trekking styles and are crafted by hand in the label’s Parisian workshop, featuring straps made from vintage cotton bandanas. The brand’s footwear collection can be summarised as vacation-ready, uber-comfortable EVA-soled sandals that are known for vibrant patterns including paisley and leopard.
As well as falling head over heels for the fabulously happy and colourful prints, we LOVE the fact that all of the bandana fabric used to make Arizona Love sandals, ready-to-wear and accessories is 100% vintage or re-cycled. Our focus on sustainability and ‘doing our bit’ to reduce fashion’s impact on our planet means brands like Arizona Love feature heavily in our buys and our style edits.
Just like black, white and denim, the bandana print is an absolute classic. The traditional print traces its origins back to the late 17th century in the Middle East and Southern Asia. The word “bandana” is thought to come from either Hindi or Urdu, both in which the word ‘bāṅdhnū’ loosely translates as a tied or bound cloth.
Square pieces of printed fabric soon began making their way to Europe in the early 18th century via the Dutch East India Trading Company. Marketed mainly as women’s shawls, one of the first patterns to gain popularity was the ancient Persian ‘boteh’ pattern or ‘buta’ in Indian. Boteh, a repeating pattern of curved teardrop-shaped figures, would eventually become known among European consumers as ‘Paisley’.
The actual bandana product (a printed, unisex scarf) dates back to the late 1700s in early colonial America. During the Civil War, bandanas became a functional uniform staple for soldiers on both sides. In fact, it was common for a soldier going off to war to carry his possessions wrapped up in a cotton bandana.
The proliferation of affordable bandanas also made them popular workwear and soon became an adopted symbol of the fight for workers’ rights. In 1921 over 10,000 united mine workers in West Virginia armed themselves and wore red bandanas to demand unions and better working conditions. The event, at the time the largest armed uprising of citizens since the Civil War, became known as the West Virginia Coal Miners March and is thought to have contributed to the popularisation of the term ‘redneck’.
Since the turn of the century, the bandana has continued to move beyond subculture and into mainstream fashion. Though their popularity has ebbed and flowed since 2000, the ubiquity of bandanas at music festivals over the past 5-10 years has provided yet another interesting subplot to their nearly 300-year history. To this day, bandanas remain a staple of the cool crowd and are hugely likely to remain that way.
Apart from the wonderful styles and super-comfortable fits, we love the fact that the Arizona Love brand is:
– designed and handmade in Paris
– box-less, therefore reducing packaging waste and delivery costs
– uses vintage and re-cycled materials wherever possible
– a user of *EVA sole technology for greater comfort and durability[*EVA sole is a plastic sole that can be lighter and more flexible than rubber. It stands for Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate. EVA foam is considered eco-friendly because it is BPA free and does not contain chlorides, heavy metals, phenols, latex and other toxic substances.]
We wear our Arizona Love trekkies as soon as it’s warm enough to be sock-free and we’ve had time to get a pedicure and toe polish! Worn with a crop jean, tee-shirt and lightweight jacket, one would think that you’d simply thrown your look together with barely a moment’s thought.
Try pairing pops of colour from the print on your sandal to something else you’re wearing: it could be a simple as choosing a co-ordinating tee shirt from Colorful Standard or as subtle as pulling out a printed shirt from Set Fashion that contains the same pantones. If you want to be really clever, look out for a colourful vintage brooch or pin badge from Ebay or Etsy and attach it to your denim jacket for a truly individual look.
Trekky sandals look just as good with a dress, skirt or shorts as they do with pants. You may well have a boiler suit or dungarees that they’d work with too. They are the light-hearted, fun piece of your look so ensure you ground them with something solid and not too frivolous.
The AL bustier is brilliant for hot summer days in the park or a ferry trip from Ibiza to Formentera. A neat fit that hugs the upper body, this is not one for the faint-hearted or heavy-busted. Pull on over a bikini top and denim cut-offs, grab a basket bag and you’re good to go: ‘no strap-marks sun tan’ here we come!
If you’re looking to incorporate the essence of the brand into your look without diving head-first into trekking sandals or boob-tubes, take a look at our selection of tote bags. Plenty big enough for a couple of bottles of Rose and an M&S picnic, they’re also small enough to roll up in your suitcase when you’re packing for your summer get-away.
If there is one thing we can guarantee, once you have worn a pair of Leslie’s handcrafted trekkies for even just a few minutes, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. On a scale from 1-10, the comfort factor is 20!