FW23 boots for kids by La Botte Gardiane x The Animals Observatory

The Animals Observatory News

4 minute read

Words by The Animals Observatory | Nov 05, 2023

Have you already seen the kids' leather boots for this Fall-Winter 2023? Three new handcrafted models by La Botte Gardiane x The Animals Observatory are available on our website. They come in electric blue, intense red, and deep gray, all of them being made in France, using the best raw materials available, as well as a unique know-how dating back to 1958, the year in which La Botte Gardiane was born.

This new collaboration consisting of leather boots for kids is actually the result of The Animals Observatory revisiting (and reinterpreting) La Botte Gardiane well-established boots, which are distinguished for its artisanal approach as well as for being an iconic product from the Camargue, that dreamy natural region in the South of France. In fact, the company has already been labeled "Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant" (Living Heritage Company) by the French government, in recognition of its traditional know-how.

Our skilled artisans meticulously handcraft each pair of boots

Fanny Agulhon

As Fanny Agulhon, Associate Director of La Botte Gardiane puts it "I got inspired by this sentence that sums up what La Botte Gardiane is: ‘the function defines the form.’ These ideas draw inspiration from our rich heritage and the traditions of French craftsmanship", so they create pieces that can be as timeless as ageless, in the sense that they follow their own fashion rules based on the boots' features and putting their durability at the center of it all.

What’s even more impressive is that La Botte Gardiane can still sell models from decades ago, thanks to their particular philosophy, "We don't work like fashion nowadays: we launch a couple of new styles every year, but you can find styles from the 50's or the 70’s in our collection."

La Botte Gardiane x The Animals Observatory boots for kids

Their feet in good hands, an artisanal approach

La Botte Gardiane leather boots are made with high-quality raw materials to ensure their characteristic durability and comfort. As they are based in the Camargue, most of the leathers they use are also from there. Besides, they have worked with some of their tannery suppliers for more than 60 years. Talk about long-lasting relationships!

Nevertheless, handcrafting these cowboy boots is "where the heart of the process lies." Bear in mind that manufacturing La Botte Gardiane x The Animals Observatory boots for children can take about 150 steps, as they use traditional techniques passed down through generations to cut, stitch, and assemble every component. Their atelier, composed by 19 artisans, is one of the last ones that entirely produce everything in-house.

Source: labottegardiane.com

Revisiting traditions, an interview with Fanny Agulhon

What would you say makes your approach unique?

That we work with people who are passionate about transforming leather and make the beauty of the material speak. One of the unique aspects of our brand is the ability to customize our products. Customers can choose from various leather types, colors, and finishes to create a personalized pair of boots or shoes.

We also take a great deal of time making sure La Botte Gardiane leather boots are flawless, before sending them to our customers. In addition, we offer a repair service to further commit ourselves to the durability of our styles. We aim to provide not just footwear but a piece of art that our customers can cherish for years.

Our name reflects our connection to the rich cultural heritage of the Camargue

Fanny Agulhon

Source: labottegardiane.com

What does the French word "gardiane" mean?

La Botte Gardiane means "the boots of the gardian", and the gardian is the French word for caretaker. In the context of "La Botte Gardiane", it specifically refers to the gardians who are the French equivalent of cowboys, as the Camargue is a region of cattle breeding. La Botte Gardiane and La camarguaise (boots from the Camargue), then, are the same product, as you can only find gardians here. So these leather boots reflect what is worn by the people who inhabit and work in this land.

So the name is tied to the region.

Yes, because gardians are traditional cattle herders and horsemen in the Camargue region of southern France. These people play a vital role in the care and protection of cattle and horse herds. The choice of the name La Botte Gardiane is significant, because it reflects our connection to the rich cultural heritage of our region and its association with the gardians, who are iconic figures from the Camargue.

La Botte Gardiane x The Animals Observatory boots are made to be comfortable, durable, and suitable for active young explorers

Fanny Agulhon

Source: labottegardiane.com

Is it a challenge to integrate R&D, sustainability policies and to keep working with the most long-lasting prime materials?

It can indeed be a challenge. However, these elements are also crucial to our identity and values. We continuously invest in finding innovative ways to reduce environmental impact, and ensure the highest quality. Balancing these goals with sustainability involves making responsible choices regarding materials, sourcing, and manufacturing techniques.

Our dedication to using long-lasting prime materials is somewhat of a cornerstone. We prioritize high-quality leather to ensure La Botte Gardiane boots stand the test of time. While this approach can involve higher initial costs, it results in products that provide excellent value over the long term, reducing waste and thus supporting sustainability. We can also repair every shoe we make.

What would you highlight about the children’s boots made in collaboration with The Animals Observatory?

The Animals Observatory revisited our iconic heritage boots, the one that gives La Botte Gardiane its name, in a fun playful way. It's really refreshing. Kids leather cowboy boots are also a must for us. Besides, they are crafted with the same level of care and attention to detail as our adult footwear. They are made to be comfortable, durable, and suitable for active young explorers, from the urban jungle to the wild lands of the Camargue!

All in all, this collaboration with The Animals Observatory brings a fresh and unique design perspective to our children's boots. The creative approach results in playful and eye-catching designs that kids and parents alike can appreciate. Last but no least, The Animals Observatory shares our commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.

What do you like the most about The Animals Observatory designs from the Fall-Winter 2023 collection?

I have always adored color, so I am totally in love with these children's boots' freshness. Their mix of colors and their pattern gives a sense of uniqueness. It brings a vibrant joy, a smile and good humor. It is a great inspiration.

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