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Ecco Leather launches creative exchange ‘At.Kollektive’

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Ecco Leather, 'At.Kollektive’
Ecco Leather, a division of shoe company Ecco, has brought together designers Natacha Ramsay-Levi, Bianca Saunders, Isaac Reina, Kostas Murkudis and architect Bernard Dubois as the first guest creatives of its new design collective.

‘At.Kollektive’ is a new design project with a focus on material excellence, explains Ecco Leather, while also showcasing a “radically new way of thinking about the creation of fashion and relationship between designer, object and consumer”.

The initiative brings together “distinct voices in the landscape of contemporary design” including former Chloé creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi, ANDAM winner Bianca Saunders, accessories designer Isaac Reina and Greek designer Kostas Murkudis to offer “meticulously-crafted collections,” spanning footwear, interiors, furniture, accessories, small leather goods and ready-to-wear.

The contributing creatives were all selected as they come from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to bring unique looks, references and interests to the project, explains Ecco Leather, and the same designers involved in the first iteration will continue contributing next season “to continue the process of exploration”.

Natacha Ramsay-Levi and Bianca Saunders join Ecco Leather’s design collective

The project marks the first consumer-facing output of Ecco Leather and each collection will be a curation of nine key pieces per designer, each described as a “collector’s piece” that celebrates craftsmanship and their individual perspectives. There will also be an emphasis on innovative and sustainable practices with each collection produced in limited runs to avoid waste and to ensure “every idea is as strong as possible”.

‘At.Kollektive’ is a lesson in the “balance of innovation and longevity,” adds Ecco Leather, and is the antithesis of a brand that is static, saturated and repetitive, with all the pieces designed to be “long-lasting, treasured and used”.

The debut ‘At.Kollektive’ collection will be showcased at Palais de Tokyo during the upcoming Paris Fashion Week Men’s and Couture weeks this summer. The presentation will also feature an installation designed by architect Bernard Dubois, which will be reused to form the centrepiece at At.Kollektive’s s forthcoming gallery-space-cum-retail-hub in Copenhagen.

The first collection will include Ramsay-Levi’s first design proposal since leaving Chloé and her furniture debut, drawing inspiration from the rich cultural signifiers and associations of leather and its history with fashion. Saunders will also make her furniture debut with a lounge chair and introduce bags and footwear that take inspiration from leather’s ability to mould its form to the shape of the wearer.

While Reina will draw on his background at Hermès to create a collection of bags and shoes that celebrate “clean lines, precise curves and graceful angles,” and Murkudis, celebrated for his work alongside Helmut Lang and his eponymous label, plays with the beauty of the paper bag and Ecco’s leather techniques to showcase “the very best in leather craftsmanship”. He will also showcase footwear combining a sneaker with a sandal.

Panos Mytaros, chief executive at Ecco Group, said in a statement: “Ecco Leather is about innovation and invention. With At.Kollektive, we wanted to invite designers to enjoy the process of learning, of experimentation, and to create a collection in a pace and environment that was not pressured or didactic; an environment that was about dialogue and investigation, rather than immediacy or fixed results.”

Ecco Group
Ecco Leather
Isaac Reina
Kostas Murkudis
Natacha Ramsay-Levi