ES PAR TA was founded in 2015 upon the ancient craft of hand made alpargatas, a shoe making technique that dates back centuries. Alluding to esparto, the natural fiber roots that comprise the soles, ES PAR TA is also a playful hybrid of romance languages meaning, “it’s for you.”
ES PAR TA hopes to preserve valued ancient handmade shoe and textile traditions and create social and economic opportunities for women artisans, and to date has worked with artisans in Spain, Japan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Italy.
Anush Mirbegian is the founder and creative director of ES PAR TA.
She has worked in trend forecasting, design and styling with fashion and trend brands around the world, including Stylesight, Trendstop, Vogue Italia, Chloe and Proenza Schouler. Frequently traveling to research the origins and histories of artisan techniques, she was most humbled by the power of artisan collectives while in Armenia, her father's ethnic homeland, during a project where she led a women's sewing group. This experience informed the next several years of handmade explorations and providing creative consulting services to global artisans groups, from Afghanistan, Morocco, Myanmar, Tunisia, Tanzania, and beyond.
Inspired by the cultural wealth, the global reach of artisans hands, and an endless journey of collecting textiles, Anush wanted to create a space where artisans miles away from each other, in distance and culture, could combine their spirited techniques in one project, that not only honored their respective traditions but also brought them into a modern context, one that would allow them to flourish in innovative ways. The espadrille, rooted in the land and in history, seemed to provide the ideal canvas to experiment with all the skilled hands Anush had discovered, but finding the right partner became the elusive solution.
After a few years and some failed attempts, Anush discovered an espadrille making workshop during a summer in Spain and brought the artisans a traditional silk ikat, handwoven by female artisans in the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan. After months of convincing, the first pair of ES PAR TA alpartagas was finally created. ES PAR TA continues to work with this atelier and they are always surprised to see the unusual handmade textiles that come through their doors. Artisans inspiring artisans is the cornerstone of ES PAR TA's modern heritage.
Anush currently lives between Barcelona and New York City.