Friday, October 21, 2011


Bar Basque, NYC

words/images Judith Ecochard

Over looking an oasis of a park/public space on 29th street, images were projected on the outdoor building wall opposite Bar Basque
Excited by an invite from the Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce to see the debut of the Pikolinos Maasai collection, we were not sure of what we'd see.

Well beautiful hand beaded sandals in the distinct patterns that reminded us of our own jaunt to East Africa-greeted us and all who attended.

We were not familiar with the Spain based Pikolinos though the finely crafted footwear from this company is sold worldwide with over 60 eponymous boutiques and over 8000 points of sale. Gee.

We were familiar with the outstanding bead work laboriously stitched by Maasai women as a means of support---as our go to belt we bought in Kenya-directly from a Maasi woman- always gets compliments from hip NYC teens, seen it all pr types and even fashion designers we have interviewed.

The selection on display in the sun-filled room (available Nordstrom, online-Zappos- and soon in Pikolinos boutiques for about $150-$160)- is the result of a joint project in collaboration with ADCAM and Juan Perán Pikolinos Foundation-and the Development Project in the Maasai Mara---with profits from all sales making a measurable difference in the African communities.

FYI: We actually read up on Pikolinos the shoe brand---and besides conjuring up "naturally good" footwear  that we'd want to wear, the company is committed to environmental conscious/sustainable production methods, including using vegetable dyes, solvent free glues to manufacture goods...and reducing waste (paper free) in day-to day business activities.
William Kikane Ple Pere-Maasai-where Pikolinos was up for a Global Fashion Award-Sustainable Brand or Retailer of the Year

Of course, hospitality was lovely---with Spanish wines and typical bites served...