Unisex shoe, the santiag is back on track this year. This iconic boot is making appearances in fashion shows, on social networks or in the street. Summer or winter, it can be worn minimalist or as a statement piece for a detailled look.
A COWBOY STORY
In our time, santiag is considered a timeless accessory. However, this has not always been the case. Indeed, the history of this shoe goes back almost 600 years ago, to the 15th century. They come from the mix of the hispanic and american cultures. They were worn by the Vaqueros, guardians of Spanish herds. They were used to protect the legs and secure horse trips through the American West. Santiags therefore had a more utilitarian than aesthetic role. They crossed the ages until the eighteenth century when cowboys made them their symbolic shoes. It was only during the development of the western genre in cinema that the santiags became popular. Boots enjoyed a long period of success from the 1920s to the 1950s. Worn by movie stars like Marilyn Monroe or Johnny Cash, leather workers embellish this shoe more and more requested by the public, with embroideries or different types of leather.
This enthusiasm around western culture kept going until the seventies. It is particularly an event of 1979 that propels the santiag to the rank of essential fashion accessory. On the occasion of the parade celebrating the inauguration of Polo Western and Ralph Lauren Western boutiques, artist Andy Warhol parades alongside actress Margaux Hemingway in cowboy outfits. An already well-known figure in fashion tabloids, Ralph Lauren boosts santiag as a must-have shoe, while sharing touching childhood memories.
THROUGH THE AGES
Nowadays, the santiag illustrates both its creator’s and the wearer’s personnality. There are different styles that embellish the look of each. Therefore, the western boot also represents the time in which it is located. In the 1950s, it was worn by men and women with a simple pair of jeans and a shirt. It is a moment of democratization for this shoe, reserved primarily for the male.
The 1970s marked a turning point in the way they are worn. They are now completely considered city boots. We find them with dresses, long skirts, denim… The santiag fits as much in the hippie style of the 70’s as in the rebel rock side of the 80’s. The leather jacket, Levis 501’s jeans and santiags look has became an iconic image of this decade.
Set aside for a time, cowboy boots underwent a complete renaissance in the early 2000s with the Y2K style. This time, we’re wearing it more sensually and confidently: denim miniskirt, cowboy hat, bright colours… The total western look is essential in the wardrobe of many people. These iconic boots are also a symbol of feminine affirmation and independence. We see it in Madonna’s music video 'Don’t tell me' in 2001 or with other personalities like Beyoncé and Rihanna who wear the santiag with a more diva side.
THE CONTEMPORARY SANTIAG
Even though the Y2K style is also making a comeback in contemporary fashion, the santiag is a versatile accessory. So we can wear it with diverse and varied DNA. The leather pieces reinforce the singular character of the boot while giving the impression of a very worked outfit. We can also play it minimal with jeans and an oversized blazer. Then, the santiag easily creates contrast to break an outfit too classic by associating it with dresses with floral pattern. The fluidity of this style of clothing creates a harmonious contrast with the more masculine look of the santiags. Thus, the latter is incorporated in all possible styles since it comes in different forms. The height of the boots wobbles between the ankle as does the label Khaite or below the knee at Ganni’s. The colors are multiple and disco also invites itself in the trend with boots with the chromatic aspect. Finally, the only characteristic common to all these santiags is the pointed toe that makes the iconic shoe. Find our selection of boots for this winter at Série Noire.