Insider Interviews: Bastien Gonzalez: Pedicure-Podiatrist
The world's most renowned pedicurist talks to Destino about building a global empire & his golden rules for great feetby Amy Wilson Wyles
Job Title: French pedicure-podologue (podiatrist), CEO of BGA CORP
Location: Paris/London/New York/Dubai
Famous For: Transforming weary soles back into “baby feet”
Clients/Fans Include: Royalty & business high-flyers
Years in the Industry: 27
I first knew I wanted to be a Podiatrist when I seriously injured myself during a skiing competition. Consequently, I spent six months in physiotherapy, where I met a pedicure-podologue whose treatment using specially made insoles helped me to win every race that season. I quickly realized that I had discovered my vocation and I moved to Paris to start my three-years Podiatry training.
My big break came as soon as I graduated, when I began to work in a medical office in Place des Vosges and in the most exclusive hotels, first in Paris, then in London and New York, where clients were won over by my luxurious and thorough approach.
Following this I met two mentors who helped me in my career: Jeans-Louis Costes who welcomed me into his incredibly popular Hotel Costes in Saint Honoré; and the billionaire Sol Kerzner. Sol permitted me to open the first Pedi-Spas in his luxurious hotels (One & Only and Atlantis) that combined a medical dimension with beauty – he wanted his guests to be able to have the best pedicure in the world and the most beautiful feet by the pool.
During a month, I spend 6 days in London and 4 days in New York where I take care of the feet of my customers. Afterwards I travel around the world, to our various Pedi:Mani:Cure Studios in order to control the quality of the signature treatments and to develop new partnerships with luxury hotels. Finally, I come back once a month to Paris to meet my office team who works daily on BGA CORP’s development.
A good pedicure-podologue will be dedicated to giving the perfect treatment. I’m not a pedicure dealer – I don’t want you coming back to me because of pain or problems with your feet – a good pedicure literally means: Pedi =foot and Cure = treatment.
The worst thing people can do for their feet is to scrub them too hard and too often with a pumice stone. It breaks the skin’s elasticity and burns it!
The country with the best feet in general is France because we have the best training for foot treatments (pedicure-podologue degree), as well as a less aggressive approach and a better education of foot care.
Take care of your feet every day. Even if it’s just thirty seconds before going to bed, massage a cream in and work on the joint mobility of the foot.
Don’t scrub your feet too hard or too often. It breaks the elasticity of the skin and as a response, the skin creates even more calluses to protect itself. Instead, soak your feet in warm soapy water for five minutes, scrub feet with a grainy scrub and rinse. Avoid doing anything using a metal file or blade – leave the sharp instruments to the professionals.
After a long day shower your legs from the toe to the knee with cold water to help push the blood back towards your heart. Pay particular attention to just above the back on the knee as a lot of veins and arteries are situated there.
Always buy your shoes in the afternoon as your feet can grow up to one centimetre during the day. If your shoes are the wrong size, your toenails touch the ends and can be damaged, plus blisters may occur.
The Products He Swears By For Healthy Feet:
The Black Diamond Scrub: Use this mineral foaming scrub, which permits a vigorous natural exfoliation without damaging skin, aiding the removal of dead cells and leaving feet smooth and silky.
The Sensitive Feet Balm: A creamy plant-based formula perfect for daily massage that combats dryness, nail degeneration & sore feet. Use it every night for super soft feet!
The Nail & Cuticle Unguent: A nourishing nail serum made up of essential oils & medicinal plant extracts to feed and protect the nail, preventing weakness & getting rid of any painful, dry cuticles.
The Talc: This is particularly key during summer when the heat can cause shoes to rub. To combat, sprinkle this fine talc over soles or into shoes to create a second skin that prevents sore feet & provides antiseptic protection.
Get In Touch
Location: Pedi:Mani:Cure studio, Mandarin Oriental, Knightsbridge
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7235 2000