Wanderlusts, Vol. 1: Espadrille King and Soludos Founder Nick Brown

by Ashley Baker
Nick Brown
Nick Brown

Nick Brown enjoys some boat time off of the coast of Dubrovnik.

From Cape Town to Cap Ferrat, the fashion crowd’s vacation spots are the stuff of dreams. For Nick Brown, founder of footwear phenomenon Soludos, travel is all in a day’s work. Luckily, he’s got enough shoes for every possible adventure.

Have you always had wanderlust?
Ever since I can remember. My father traveled the globe as diplomat, and I got bit by the travel bug early on. Holidays as a kid were spent on the Spanish coast, which is where I first wore espadrilles—that’s where it all started.

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in London and lived there until I was 15, before moving to New England for high school and university.

How did you spend your summers as a kid?
I was fortunate to travel frequently, whether to the Andalusian coast in Spain or the Algarve in Portugal, with red cliffs plunging into the Mediterranean, endless sandy coves, lunches filled with whole grilled fish and ending with slices of watermelon.

How much of the year do you spend on the road?
As much as possible—it’s for a mix of both business and pleasure. I was in Rajasthan, India, recently to shoot our Spring campaign but managed to mix in plenty of exploration and vintage textile shopping at the same time. The line between work and pleasure is less and less clear in my travels. I spend about three months of the year on the road—fortunately Soludos takes me to destinations that were formally on my bucket list. After India, I headed off to visit some Soludos pop-up shops in London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, so I’m constantly on the go.

How did you end up on a boat trip in Turkey?
A friend of mine spends two weeks aboard a traditional wooden gulet sailing the quiet ends of the Turkish coast each summer, so I was fortunate to be invited along with close friends and his family. A week aboard the boat sailing, swimming, reading, and catching up over sunset gin and tonics. We sailed on the southwestern coast from Dalaman near the Marmaris national reserve, hopping from one deserted cove to the next.

What took you to Dubrovnik?
One of my closest friends celebrated his 30th birthday there. We stayed at Grand Villa Argentina nestled on the Adriatic with beautiful views of the old town of Dubrovnik. Lazy afternoons and sangria-soaked brunches that turned to late nights dancing on the cobbled streets.

Why did you venture to Cape Town?
My girlfriend, Dominique, is from Cape Town, so we took a road trip along the famed Garden Route, stopping along the way at various towns like Wilderness and Knysna.

What did you see there?
A lot of the coastline is national park, protecting the raw lush vegetation teeming with wildlife. In one stroll along the beach, we saw a pod of dolphins and a group of wild sea lions.

Do you go to Costa Rica regularly?
Yes. It’s slow and healthy living at its best—early morning surfs and yoga.

What are your favorite things to eat and drink?
There are few things better than fishing for your own fish tacos. So fish tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, always with a side of fried plantains.

What’s your favorite airline?
Virgin Airways. Call me a biased Brit, but every detail is considered and cool.

Where are the next places you’re angling to go?
I’ve always wanted to go to Sri Lanka. My mother was born there and spent her childhood there, so I’ve always been curious to visit the endless palms of its storied coast line.

You spend time in Montauk in the summer. What’s your scene like there?
My scene in Montauk is as laid-back as it gets. It’s all about an early dip in the ocean, long dinners at Crow’s Nest, backgammon by the pool, and great friends around the barbecue. Our vintage Italian Soludos Piaggio will be parked at Navy Beach on the weekends of July 16 and August 20. And don’t miss our annual Memorial Weekend party at Tenet in Southampton with good tunes, lobster rolls, and plenty of sangria.

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