MAASAI PROJECT sandals & bags by Pikolinos in Florence

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.

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