A special talent for shoes

Unique collaboration between ECCO and Design School Kolding fosters the shoe designers of tomorrow

There is only one place in Denmark that you are able to study and specialise in Shoe Design, and that place is Design School Kolding. Thanks to a collaboration agreement with ECCO, the school is able to nurture the talent of the future shoe concept makers – on Danish soil. Something that benefits the industry at large, says Jakob Møller Hansen, Vice President for R&D at ECCO:

- Actually, the shoe industry is about the size of the textile industry, yet somehow the students have not been that much tuned in on us. Manufacturing shoes is a very technical craft and therefore slightly less accessible. We are therefore pleased that this collaboration enables us to introduce future designers to the world of shoes and all that it represents.

Plenty of growth
Rector at Design School Kolding, Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, is equally pleased about the long-term aspects of the collaboration:

- When you look at the number of shoe manufacturers out there, it is actually striking that Denmark has not had a programme for educating shoe designers sooner. Our partnership with ECCO is therefore unique. The agreement supports our design education and our development activities concerning shoes. At the same time, the specialisation is very beneficial to our students because they learn about materials, formgiving and construction from one of the leading companies in the market. Finally, the collaboration benefits everyone involved on an overall level because it creates new and interesting opportunities for growth when young capacities contribute their ideas and concepts, she says.

New jobs
Indeed, new opportunities is a focal area concerning students, says Helle Graabæk, Head of Textile Design at Design School Kolding:

- The students study Industrial Design, Fashion Design as well as Textile Design. Since ECCO became a collaborating partner, we have made shoe design part of our curriculum. The entire programme is quite an eye-opener that opens the students eyes to the vast career opportunities in shoe design.

In this regard, the collaboration has already borne fruit, Jakob Møller Hansen confirms:

- Thanks to the collaboration, we have been able to hire new talented designers, and not least, we have been able to recruit on a whole new foundation because, during their education, we have been able to show the students who ECCO is. They have seen that we take them seriously, that we take our customers seriously, and the collaboration in general has enabled us to create a positive experience around our brand and our products.