Olivia Palermo And The Maasai Project


It’s not unusual that fashion and sustainable development meet. Fashion expert Olivia Palermo joined forces with Pikolinos and the Maasai people of Kenya to empower their community while, together, creating incredible pieces of art: hand embroidered shoes.

Pikolinos has appointed Olivia Palermo as their ambassador of the Maasai project 2013. This experience has been a true “blessing and humbling” journey for Ms. Palermo who stated in a personal note on her website that, “In our often hectic and full lives, we sometimes forget how truly blessed we are, and take for granted things we believe to be universal and basic rights, like having food when we’re hungry, and medicine when we’re sick.

We forget that there are millions who starve, and millions that die from easily treatable diseases. We often complain about our bosses, our coworkers, the long hours spent working, and we forget that there are millions who don’t have the opportunity to earn a living.”

According to Pikolinos and Olivia Palermo, the Maasai project has improved the lives of the Maasai people. This project has provided work for 1400 women in their community. For Kikanae Ole Pere, Maasai community leader, this project will help sustainable development in their community.

This project has significantly improved the lives of Maasai women. It is truly a beneficial exchange between them and the Maasai people. By providing them with this job, “Maasai women now earn stable wages for the first time in their lives (something that only men had the right to do before)” (–Olivia Palermo).

Moreover, Pikolinos and the NGO ADCAM – Asociación de Desarrollo, Comercio Alternativo y Microcrédito (Development Partnership and Microcredit Alternative Trade) are building schools and providing the Maasai people with basic goods.

Olivia Palermo is thrilled to be a part of this project “which encompasses so many things that she values in life: fashion, women’s equality, and the right to an education and healthy life”.

Visit their site to learn more about the Maasai project and how you can contribute.

Gwen Madiba | Elite.

Twitter: @gwenmadiba