Ecco Leather, a division of shoe company Ecco, has announced the first guest creatives of its new design collective.e: designers Natacha Ramsay-Levi, Bianca Saunders, Isaac Reina, Kostas Murkudis, and architect Bernard Dubois.
According to Ecco Leather, 'At.Kollektive' is a new design concept that focuses on material quality while also exhibiting a "radically new way of thinking about the development of fashion and the interaction between designer, item, and customer."
Former Chloé creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi, ANDAM winner Bianca Saunders, accessories designer Isaac Reina, and Greek designer Kostas Murkudis join forces to produce "meticulously-crafted collections" covering footwear, interiors, furniture, accessories, small leather goods, and ready-to-wear.
According to Ecco Leather, the contributing creatives were chosen because they come from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to bring unique looks, references, and interests to the project, and the same designers involved in the first iteration will continue to contribute next season "to continue the process of exploration."
Ecco Leather's first consumer-facing output will be a selection of nine significant items per designer, each defined as a "collector's piece" that honours craftsmanship and their distinct viewpoints. Each collection will be manufactured in limited runs to reduce waste and to ensure "every idea is as robust as possible."
'At.Kollektive' is a lesson in "balancing of innovation and durability," according to Ecco Leather, and is the antithesis of a stagnant, saturated, and repetitious brand, with all items made to be "long-lasting, appreciated, and worn."
During the next Paris Fashion Week Men's and Couture weeks this summer, the premiere 'At.Kollektive' collection will be shown at Palais de Tokyo. The exhibition will also include an artwork by architect Bernard Dubois, which will be utilized as the centerpiece of At.upcoming Kollektive's gallery-space-cum-retail-hub in Copenhagen.
Ramsay-first Levi's design concept after leaving Chloé, as well as her furniture debut, will be included in the inaugural collection, with inspiration drawn from the rich cultural signifiers and connections of leather and its history with fashion. Saunders will also make her furniture debut with a lounge chair, as well as launch bags and footwear inspired by leather's propensity to conform to the contour of the wearer.
While Reina will draw on his Hermès experience to create a collection of bags and shoes that celebrate "clean lines, precise curves, and graceful angles," Murkudis, known for his collaborations with Helmut Lang and his eponymous label, will play with the beauty of the paper bag and Ecco's leather techniques to showcase "the very best in leather craftsmanship." He will also exhibit footwear that combines a sneaker with a sandal.
Panos Mytaros, chief executive at Ecco Group, said that Ecco Leather is about creativity and originality. They intended to enable designers to enjoy the process of learning, experimenting, and creating a collection at their own pace and in a setting that was not rushed or didactic; an environment that was about communication.
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