El Naturalista Opens First Store in the United States

The first El Naturalista store in the United States has opened at 104 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, California. Like the shoes it houses, the new concept shop design is completely inspired by nature.

The first El Naturalista store in the United States has opened at 104 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, California. Like the shoes it houses, the new concept shop design is completely inspired by nature.

The store is flooded with light and constructed with natural materials such as wood, stones and of course the trademark El Naturalista Frog. General Manager Pablo de la Peña was thrilled when he first saw the realization of the concept store on Montana Avenue, recently named in the March issue of Vanity Fair as the shopping destination for the New Hollywood set. Concerning future plans he said: ”This is just the beginning! We are planning to open another 25 shops worldwide within the next two years.”

There are currently three additional El Naturalista stores: the first one was built in Taipei (Taiwan) in 2005, the second one in Berlin in May 2006 followed by another shop in Helsinki in August of that same year. More El Naturalista shops are scheduled to open in Paris and Barcelona soon.

One concept El Naturalista will always abide by is the fact that every new line is inspired by nature and manufactured following a strict Eco-Policy. The shoes are made from vegetable tanned leather, recycled or natural ergonomic rubber outsoles and padded leather lined recycled insoles. El Naturalista designers travel the world over looking for inspiration to build a collection around. This inspiration can be found on the sole of every shoe. As always, the colors used are natural earth tones sometimes accented by pops of bright colors.

The Ralph Libonati Company (RLC) distributes the El Naturalista brand in the United States. For 35 years, RLC has been a pioneer distributor and marketer of footwear brands in the United States. Founder Ralph Libonati introduced and marketed the adidas brand in the U.S., which sparked the growth of what became a multi-billion dollar athletic shoe business in this country. RLC also markets and sells Power Athletic Shoes (from BATA) and Bally Golf shoes, apparel and accessories. “We have a long and successful history of introducing brands to the U.S. market,” said Steve Libonati, President of RLC. “Six years ago El Naturalista created the eco-fashion comfort category and they have taken this trend to a new level. The El Naturalista philosophy is in synch with the growing social and environmental conscience of the US consumer leading to our explosive growth this past year. The timing couldn't be better for us to open this store.”

Based in Pamplona, Spain, El Naturalista was founded in 2002 by General Manager Pablo de la Peña. He had a concept in mind while creating the company - he wanted to create a global shoe brand inspired by nature - comfortable and still fashionable. The final product that El Naturalista offers is young footwear, comfortable and in accordance with the values of nature as well as with its own brand values. El Naturalista is present in 34 countries all over the world with has four stores (Taipei, Berlin, Santa Monica and Helsinki). Information about El Naturalista and its products can be found at www.elnaturalista.com El Naturalista is distributed in the U.S. by the Ralph Libonati Co. Phone: (800) 437-2526, Email: info@ libonatico.com.


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