On Saturday, April 18, Belk welcomed William, along with Pikolinos, to celebrate the sixth year of their unique collaboration. Birmingham’s brightest style bloggers were on hand and enjoyed one-on-one interviews and lunch with William as he shared stories and raised awareness about the Maasai Project.
Chief Kikanae Ole Pere or William, as he is called in the West, is a champion of Maasai women and their determination to surpass their life-threatening hardships in Kenya. William’s vision for empowerment is supported by Pikolinos, the premium Spanish leather footwear company that partnered with the African tribe to produce the Maasai Project, a collection of shoes, handbags and jewelry that feature the work of the Maasai women.
Each piece of the Maasai Project finished product carries with it the story of the woman who created it. Under this program, leather pieces are cut to shape in Spain from Pikolinos trademark finishes and sent to the Maasai Mara, where they are distributed to hundreds of Maasai women who are participating in the project. These women can be seen sitting in groups beneath shade trees ornamenting the leather at their own pace, in the bold colors and patterns inspired by their culture’s rich, storied heritage.
The finished creations are then returned to Spain to be finished into any number of styles of sandals bearing the Pikolinos insignia, as well as the label Authentic Maasai Design. The designs are then distributed around the globe, with the profits being returned to the women of the Maasai.
“Pikolinos is deeply honored to work with the talented women of the Maasai Mara as well as such an inspired leader as William,” says Juanma Peran, Vice President of Pikolinos. “The Maasai Project enables women and their families in Kenya and Tanzania to have sustainable futures by employing them and providing salaries. At Pikolinos, we are delighted to have such a positive impact on their lives and also support the Maasai values that are deeply rooted in family and nature. Our company was founded on very similar values, which we hold dear to this day. The Maasai Project was a natural fit for us on many levels.”
For more information about Pikolinos and the Maasai Project, please click here.
Click on the images below to download a high resolution image.
Pikolinos celebrates the sixth year of the Maasai Project, a design collaboration program with the Maasai tribes in Eastern Africa, where the profits are given back to the Maasai women involved. Pikolinos has invited William, the Maasai Tribal Chief, to Belk Summit to raise awareness for the Maasai Project which has successfully promoted both economic and cultural sustainability as well as tell the stories of the wonderful people who help create the collection.
Pikolinos and William will be at Belk to meet guests, learn about the social project, and present the stunning
accessory collection. Consumers are invited to also enjoy cocktails & hors d ’oeuvres, a live DJ, exclusive product offerings, unique Maasai gifts with purchase, photo booth fun and more!
Here are the details: WHEN: Saturday, April 18th, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Belk, The Summit Birmingham, 221 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35243
Fierce Femininity Flowers this Season along with Delicate and Daring Statements
Get ready for a season that is all about statement style with items that look new and feel decidedly modern! Your 2014 spring style forecast is here, courtesy of Arlene Goldstein, Belk’s vice president of trend merchandising and fashion direction. She’s predicting dazzling jewelry, standout shoes and must-have apparel items are sure to illicit “Oohs,” and “Aahs,” from those in the know and from those who can’t wait to find out what’s on the fashion horizon.
“Expect clothes that speak to the times,” says Goldstein. “Fierce femininity will be in full bloom with the perfect mix of delicate and daring. We’re also anticipating a new angle on style, offering a spectrum of shape shifts. These trends will be joined by chic twists on fashion and fabrics from exotic locations, whether you travel or not.”
When reflecting on Belk’s “Modern. Southern. Style.,” these modernized messages are “spot on.” Yes, it is time to sharpen your fashion skills with the spring trends, better known as the Belk Style Statements.
Feminine Charms – The season has gone girly with Feminine Charms. From ultra-romantic to the chic eccentric with a femme flare, this is a fashion story that delivers a dynamic aura. Expect looks to exude elegance with oversized ruffles, fit-and-flare silhouettes, appliqued petals and new, longer lengths. Heavy lace, luminescent layers and sheer fabrics easily finesse any look. Have a preference for prints? Florals are flawless along with dots, swirls and pattern mixes. Step into the limelight with add-ons that offer everything from whimsy to clever practicality. Not-so-proper pearls, floral motif jewelry, shiny gold finishes, chain bags, clutches and single-sole pumps are just a few essentials. From blush to fuchsia, the family of pinks become the pigment palette of choice for spring. Also among bold trends, navy is ready for a regal return. White, white, white is a given.
Clean Slate – Clean Slate touts strong sculptural shapes and understated elegance, causing minimal chic to have maximum impact. Check out A-line silhouettes, asymmetric detailing and architectural lines. Anticipate an ultra-modern makeover with sportif touches that add an off-duty edginess. Textiles are interesting and innovative with cheer, metallic finishes and New Age synthetics that offer sleek chic at its best. Bold patterns blaze with photorealisms, stripes, color blocking, exaggerated geos and digital designs. The simplest ideas are the best. Anything graphic goes a long way. Black and white rules and looks newest with a pop of color. The accessories in Clean Slate say it all. Count on items with a contemporary feel. Mirror metallics, boxy shaped handbags (clutches, totes, satchels), strong cuffs and geometric pendants, multi rings, chunky heels and anything color blocked is strong and powerful. So take a risk and reinvent.
Jetsetter – As a style statement, “Jetsetter” always says “Yes,” to a tribal twist with a multi-cultural mix. Neutrals, especially khakis and greens, need no introduction. Details include both utility and handcrafted elements such as zips, pockets, studs and grommets along with ornate embellishments, tassels, fringe and frayed edges. Jacquards, silks, sheers, linen and washed poplin are just a few of the textiles that inspire this indisputably cool glam gal. Artsy camo, lkats, new tropicals and scenics are some of the flawlessly executed patterns that add to the spirit of adventure that are so relevant to this trend. Layers of jewelry, natural leathers, burnished metals, embellished totes and new gladiators give this trend the polish and panache it definitely deserves, effortlessly chic and natural.
About Arlene Goldstein
A seasoned fashion veteran, Arlene Goldstein is Vice President of Trend Merchandising and Fashion Direction for Belk, Inc. With more than 25 years in the industry, her extensive fashion knowledge and keen eye for style has deemed her an expert in the field. She also leads Belk’s special events department and is instrumental in maintaining Belk’s image as a leader in the retail industry. Early in her career, she served Parisian as Director of Special Events and later as Fashion Director. She was promoted to Vice President of Trend Merchandising for Saks, Inc., bringing color and trend direction to the various department store operating divisions under the Saks, Inc. umbrella.
Ms. Goldstein travels to fashion capitals in the United States and around the world, such as New York, Paris, London and Milan, to explore emerging trends in order to bring her special brand of style back to Belk. She collaborates with Belk merchandising, private brands and marketing to set the tone seasonally, bringing a distinct and trend-right point of view to Belk customers, and she is constantly in demand as a fashion resource for stylists and fashion publications throughout the country. Ms. Goldstein serves as a regular contributor for The Huffington Post in the HUFFPOST STYLE section (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arlene-goldstein/). Follow her on Twitter @BelkFashionBuzz.
About Belk, Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation’s largest family owned and operated department store company with 301 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. Each year, Belk gives a portion of its pretax income back to the communities it serves. In the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2013, the company and its associates, customers and vendors, donated more than $19 million to those communities. Belk stores and belk.com offer a wide assortment of top national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. To connect with Belk go to: Belk Get Connected.
Modern. Southern. Style.
Belk seeks to satisfy the modern Southern lifestyle like no one else, so that our customers get the fashion they desire and the value they deserve. Our vision is for the modern Southern woman to count on Belk first – for her, for her family, for life.
Find more information and downloadable hi-resolution Belk Spring 2014 fashion images at www.belk.com/mediaroom