Handwoven in our own workshop in Essaouira, these shoes feature an old and very precious craftsmanship and relate to a true family story.
In the late 80s, it is in a small stall in Rabat that we come across a pair of raffia shoes that have been wonderfully handcrafted by an old gentleman. This old craftsman luckily happens to be very happy about passing on skills that were likely to disappear. He patiently forms a group of women, and this leads to the creation of our workshop
Located in Essaouira, our workshop keeps on growing and slowly comes to work with European designer houses that are used to demanding quality standards. Twenty years later in Paris, YVONNE WASKA was born from a desire to make shoes playing with simple forms and various colors while putting this preserved craft and know-how in the spotlight.
From now on, it is in our workshop in Essaouira that women keep on weaving raffia, a rough looking material that proved to be naturally soft and comfortable, with the same skills that the ones passed on 100 years ago.
Raffia is a plant fiber, made from a palm endemic to Madagascar. The fiber is as flexible as it is resistant which allows multiple weaving sets as well as subtle shades of colors. Inspiration first comes out while thinking about the color range. Each year ahead, the journey begins with the local dyer artisan. And this is where the magic happens: as a raw natural material raffia perfectly sublimates colors that where once only imagined and then dries under the sun in Essaouira.
This technique requires only a few tools, women weave raffia by following the marking of the model on a shape that determines the shoe's style.
Just like genuine crafted jewels, YVONNE WASKA items come from a unique and ancient know-how brought to Morocco by Spaniards who taught it to prisoners in northern Morocco in the early 20th century.
A pair generally requires a day of work, depending on the complexity of the model. Then comes the adjustments, leather is cut and soles, bridles and buckles are sewn..