Since 2008 the Spanish shoe company, Pikolinos
has released four collections of handmade sandals that are beaded by women in Kenya's Masaai tribe. Pikolinos' 'Masaai Project' was created in cooperation with a non profit foundation ADCAM
to create jobs for Maasai craftswomen and it was initiated from requests from a Maasai leader, William Kikanae. The project has enabled the artisans to earn income to buy livestock, medicine and send their children to school. Enough funds have been generated to enable the venture to build a school for 100 students and dig wells for pure drinking water. It's a winning formula: Pikolinos is an experienced footwear manufacturer and they're obviously capable of overcoming the logistical hurdles of bringing this complex product to market. Leather pieces are cut in Pikolinos factories and shipped to the Maasai and then distributed to 1,600 artisans who then hand bead them. For their part the Maasai adapt their beautiful and ornate tribal craft and transform an otherwise ordinary pair of sandals into one-of-a-kind pieces that can be sold at a premium price point.
The Maasai Project was showcased at a Luxury Africa Fashion Pop Up Shop Hosted by Pikolinos and African PR consultancy Adiree to give African designers an opportunity to meet with potential customers and industry leaders for Fashion Week New York 2013. We love what they've done. Do you think you could rock this look this Summer?
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