Since 2011, Design School Kolding and ECCO have had a successful shoe design collaboration, attracting students from around the world. Four of the final year students have entered into a cooperation with ECCO, each presenting their take on a challenge which ECCO faces.
A Dragonfly shoe collection signals transformation
One of these students is Cecilie Bak Lindhardt Fabricius, a last year student at Design School Kolding who landed an internship with ECCO Kids in Tønder. A major in Accessory Design, Cecilie knows ECCO as a strong brand within a variety of segments, but devotes her final project to developing a concept for ECCO’s profile with teenagers. “I think ECCO has a potential in improving its performance among teenagers. Today, teenagers have exceptional spending power, and that makes them a particularly interesting target group for any business, also considering the fact that they are both current and future buyers,” explains Cecilie B. L. Fabricius, who has spent months visiting schools and interviewing teenagers about their shopping behaviour and relations to so-called influencers.
Although she majors in Accessory Design, Cecilie considers herself an overall problem solver who sees potentials rather than problems. Based on thorough research of teens and their networks in Denmark, Cecilie has designed a shoe line, Dragonfly, which for now consists of three sneakers, and in addition, she has developed a comprehensive plan to reach the teens, in particular through social media. “I think there is a huge potential in reaching this target group via influencers. The vast majority of teens trust influencers when it comes to identifying their personal style and buying the right products. So for ECCO to use e.g. an influencer with expert knowledge on cool footwear would be an obvious match,” Cecilie says.
Influencer Mathias Ong wearing a Dragonfly prototype
Collaboration with twofold benefits
At ECCO, the insights and inspiration from a designer who understands the importance of beautiful design, a high level of comfort and picks up on the trends in society is highly valued. ”The designers we work with from Design School Kolding have a good understanding of the design process and add a lot of energy, great questions and fresh ideas to our team. The great thing is that the students challenge the general perception of what is possible,” explains Tina Seirup Nielsen, Chief of Staff at ECCO Design Studio.
The collaboration provides the design students with a unique framework for working with shoe design, ensuring ambitious talent development of a new generation of shoe designers. This development greatly benefits ECCO in the form of new perspectives for product development. ”Innovation is a cornerstone to ECCO and we enjoy the rewarding collaboration with Design School Kolding. The collaboration allows us to be close to the shoe designers of tomorrow,” Tina Seirup Nielsen ends.
The final projects from the 2019 Design School Kolding graduates are exhibited at Koldinghus, Kolding from 28 June 2019