Q+A: Nick Brown, Founder of Soludos
Beloved by beach-goers and city slickers alike, Soludos espadrilles are designed with a self-proclaimed year-round spirit of summer, no matter your location. Founder Nick Brown is the essence of that—a surf-loving, effortlessly cool globetrotter who’s regularly perusing new and hip destinations. The London native turned New Yorker shares his favorite international hotspots, tells stories of past trips, and divulges his plans for the summer.
Q: How has travel inspired Soludos?
A: I have always loved to travel. Soludos was inspired by the classic rope-soled espadrilles sold on the beaches and markets of Spain—I grew up wearing them as a kid, spending summers in Seville.
Q: What’s your favorite beach to vacation at now?
A: Sandy Bay Beach in Cape Town is a beautiful secluded beach, tucked in at the foot of a steep mountain. It’s unofficially become a bit of a nude beach, so be prepared so see some beach bums. There’s a solid surf break and you might have chance encounter with the local wildlife. Last time I was there swimming, a pod of dolphins swam close into the beach, as well as sea lions.
Q: You recently Instagrammed a few pictures from Japan. Tell us a bit about your trip.
A: It was incredible! We had two Montauk-inspired beach shack pop-up shops in downtown Tokyo with Beams. I really packed in as much as I could: the cherry blossoms pouring out onto the streets and riverbanks, the delicious kaiseki ryori cuisine in Kyoto where every dish is a work of art, and a late wild night in Shinjuku.
Q: What’s one of Japan’s must-see places?
A: The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo is one of the most bizarre, mind-blowing performances I have been to. There are 15-foot high robots with bikini clad Japanese women acting out anime-inspired robot burlesque battle show with maybe more neon lighting in one basement than all of Las Vegas.
Q: What are some of your favorite spots in your native city, London?
A: Granger & Co. in Notting Hill is the perfect spot for a weekend brunch—the ricotta hot cakes are phenomenal. La Famiglia in Chelsea is an old favorite—this charming Tuscan gem has a great little garden in the back.
Q: Soludos loosely means, “the celebration of summer.” So, what are your plans for the season?
A: I’ll be out in Amagansett most of the summer. We are collaborating with the Surf Lodge beach all season long, curating a beach menu. There will be backgammon, paddleboards, juices, and Soludos. It’s going to be a cool spot to chill in the afternoon in Montauk. In August I am renting a traditional wooden gulet with friends and sailing around the Turkish coast.
Q: What is the “ultimate” trip that you think everybody should take?
A: South Africa: In one week one can see and do so much, and yet you would still be just scratching the surface of a beautiful corner of the world. A few days exploring the beaches of Cape Town, then wine tasting and vineyards in neighboring Constantia, finally hop on a short domestic flight north to Kruger National Park for safari.
Q: Your Soludos go everywhere with you! What makes them the perfect travel shoe?
A: The style is classic chic and the rope sole means they breath when you are on the go. They are light and take up little space in suitcases, so you can pack a few colors!
Courtney Kenefick is Assistant Fashion Editor at Travel + Leisure.