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The Gaucho Spirit

The Gaucho Spirit
In a year where we have sat rooted in one place for so long, we wanted to momentarily slip back to a freer time — one where travel and adventure weren’t such alien concepts. So, this piece is a reflection on the trip Penelope took with Cazenove and Lloyd in September 2019 to Argentina, more specifically to Las Pampas. The Pampas is an equestrian heartland at the centre of the country, dotted with rugged estancias and wild horses. It’s a place of authentic, raw beauty and one of the last enclaves for the country’s cowboy boot aficionados - the gauchos. This visit was a chance to uncover inspiration and to drink in the essence of Argentina’s equestrian style, hopefully bringing some of it back into our new collections. Penelope visited workshops dedicated to ancient leather crafts, ‘filled with trenzados (woven leathers), finer and stronger than I’d ever seen before, with bound edges and plaited intrinsic designs. I watched silversmiths carve organic, flowing grooves into solid-silver studs - from curling ostrich feathers and butterfly wings to wild plant formations, all symbols of their love for the natural world.'

This love for the natural world is at the heart of gaucho culture. Traditionally nomadic people, gauchos would have spent days and weeks under the stars, something that feels particularly romantic after the last 18 months! This closeness to nature is a mantra we’ve long been inspired to continue in our designs too. Penelope Chilvers has always designed footwear for travel and adventure — our very first boot, the Spanish riding boot, was made to be just that; something you could wear to kick up dust in for years to come. And all our boots thereafter; our cowboy boots, suede boots and ankle boots have all been built for outdoor living. To be, in true gaucho spirit, kept by the back door for when the moment takes you. We use strong natural materials like oiled suede and leather, that wear beautifully and really last. So you can invest wholeheartedly in whatever is ahead, knowing that like an Argentinian boot, your PCs won’t let you down.

We’ve never subscribed to the belief that style and utility are mutually exclusive, Penelope says she found moments of real beauty in the places she visited and the craftsmanship she saw: ‘Whether it was wild daisies placed into a jar on the table or the detailed leatherwork of a rein, there were design touches in even the most simple spaces.’ And this attention to detail inspires our approach too — that desire to decorate life with beauty and colour. We craft stylish details into all our designs; studwork, buckles, pockets of embroidery, playful colourways for boots like the Oscar, alongside traditional stitching for styles like the Tassel boot. Our Sol Pampas slides and Pampas strap, inspired by this trip, are exclusively woven for us, following traditional Argentinian pampas weaves — a tribute to the gaucho weaves that Penelope saw riders wearing over their bombachos. These designs are the essence of style and utility combined; celebrating the natural world, whilst also enabling people to get out into it. They’re our tribute to the true gaucho spirit, and we hope they will empower generations of women to find adventures of their own, (even if we can’t do it from Las Pampas just yet…)

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