Spanish comfort brand Pikolinos is bringing a new line to the U.S. to benefit the Maasai tribes of Africa.
The limited-edition collection of sandals will be handmade by tribal women.
According to Fernando Palazzo, country manager for North America, all profits from the hand-beaded styles will be used to support educational initiatives in the Maasai communities.
Additionally, the 1,400 Maasai women are paid salaries for their work. For many, he said, this is the first time they’ve had the opportunity to work at jobs outside their communities and receive monetary wages.
“It brings value to our brand,” said Palazzo, about the program, which was first launched in spring last year in Spain and France. Due to the intricate work involved with each pair of sandals, only 10,000 can be produced seasonally limiting distribution.
To date, a school for more than 400 children has been built in the African Savannah, in addition to dorms to house the students. Profits from the Spring ’12 collection will be used toward the purchase of computers.
Helping promote the initiative is international model Eugenia Silva, who traveled to Africa to learn first-hand about Maasai life as well as appear in Pikolinos’ Spring ’12 campaign to debut in publications that include Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Marie Claire.
The sandals are set to deliver in April and will retail from $190 to $220. To promote the collection in-store POPs are available.