Shoes are one of my passions since I was a child : my father was a footwear agent for the export market so I’ve had the chance to smell , see , touch & try many samples : from ballerinas to high heel pumps , sandals, boots, mules ….all of them made in Italy , of course , and mostly “made in Tuscany”.
Maybe not everybody knows or remember that Monsummano Terme , in the Pistoia’s district ,has been one of the most important area in central Italy since the sixties for the shoes’ production : so many factories were flourishing there until mid 90’s.
Mocassins sewed by hands were a particular kind of shoes manufactured in Monsummano Terme & have been exported all over the world. Nowadays only the top quality brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo & Gucci are producing in this area .
So you can imagine how happy I was when I received the invitation for this wonderful presentation of this project : an entire production of sandals decorered by Masai women ! The Spanish company www.pikolinos.com in cooperation with ADCAM ( alternative credit, microcredit association ) decided to give a chance to African women ,who decorate shoes & bags , in their Country ,so that they can earn money – impossible even to think about having a job since some years ago for Maasai women !-
The production & the distribution around the world is made in Spain by Pikolinas & it is already the sixth year that this ambitious project take place with great success.
The ambassador & testimonial for it is the Maasai ‘s Chief William Kikanae who was the testimonial during this presentation last week in Pikolinas ‘ Florence shop in Via Por Santa Maria nr.45 just few step from Ponte Vecchio.
These sandals reminded me the same colours of the African necklaces my father brought me back as souvenir from one of his travels in Tanzania , from where the human race begins – Turkana lake – with its multicolour small pearls matched so well together with a special innate taste for beauty.