ECCO and Design School Kolding extend partnership agreement

Denmark is a design nation, but when it comes to the footwear industry there is only one institution in the country that educates designers for that specific discipline. A new partnership agreement between ECCO and Design School Kolding ensures that upcoming shoe designers gain foothold.

Waist, vamp, outsole and last. These words are pure poetry for a footwear designer. But there is only one place in Denmark where these terms are used in an educational context – Design School Kolding, home of the only footwear design education in the country. The education was planned in close collaboration with the footwear manufacturer ECCO, located about an hour’s highway drive from Kolding. The relationship was established in 2011, and has now been extended with a new four-year partnership agreement.

”For a multinational company such as ECCO with strong roots in Southern Denmark, it is essential that we are able to recruit designers who are trained in Denmark. Because of our collaboration with Design School Kolding, we are able to spot some of the very best,” says Søren Dalsgaard Stier, Managaing Director at ECCO Holding A/S.”

ECCO is among the world leaders when it comes to manufacturing quality footwear. The company’s success builds on quality leather, innovative technology and not least great design. Therefore, the continued collaboration also pleases Jakob Møller Hansen, Vice President Research & Development ECCO Sko A/S, who is responsible for the day-to-day collaboration with Design School Kolding:

”We are happy to be able to influence the designers of tomorrow, and we feel that our commitment to the young designers has helped strengthen ECCO’s brand within the creative setting.”

All parties benefit
Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, Rector of Design School Kolding, also appreciates the collaboration. Every year the school conducts a special footwear course for bachelor students – a project that continues to deepen the understanding of the specific aspects related to footwear; at the same time it opens up new future job opportunities for the students: 

"We are proud to be offering the only footwear education in the country, and our collaboration agreement with ECCO is unique. It provides the students with the most current knowledge about materials, design and the manufacturing process, because they learn directly from some of the most skilled individuals in the industry. Conversely I also hope that ECCO gets inspired by some of the, at times, pretty wild suggestions and concepts the students will come up with during the course. Thus the collaboration benefits all parties, because it creates novel and interesting growth opportunities for the industry in the long term," says Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen.

About the partnership agreement

  • The objective is to support Design School Kolding’s teaching and design professional development work in the area of footwear and contribute to ECCO’s design development.
  • The objective is to generate knowledge about materials, form and construction of footwear.
  • One annual BA course in footwear design.
  • One annual MA course.
  • Internship agreements.
  • The agreement runs for four years.

About ECCO
ECCO is a world leader in quality footwear design that combines style and comfort. The company success build on design, quality leather and innovative technology. ECCO is the only major shoe company to own and operate its own production and retail facilities. ECCO is one of the world’s largest producers of quality leather used for ECCO shoes and ECCO leather products such as bags, belts and purses. In addition, ECCO supplies leather to major luxury brands. ECCO’s products are sold in 87 countries and 3300 ECCO shops and shop-in-shops. ECCO is family-owned, founded in 1963 and employs over 19,000 people.