Lead Designer from ECCO Outdoor, Andrzej Bikowski, is passion personified. We are meeting a sunny afternoon to talk about the ECCO BIOM Trail FL – a shoe, available in both men's and women's styles, it combines functionality and design at the ultimate level.
“You will not find many compromises in this shoe. It’s built from the platform of natural motion, which means that the last is anatomical sculptured and allows your feet to move as intended,” says Andrzej Bikowski – also known as Bartie.
Together with the team behind the shoe, the designer has been through every single millimeter of the look. Nothing is left to chance.
“Every detail in this shoe is there for the functionality and comfort. It’s a very flexible shoe and low to the ground in order to support natural motion. Outsole cleats are engineered to give you enough traction, no matter what terrain you are running in,” Bartie explains.
Furthermore, the team has worked with materials to achieve the lightness and functionality they were aiming for. Among the materials used are strong yak-leather, breathable and lightweight mesh as well as Kevlar textile for strength and weight reduction.
“The idea came because we wanted a trail shoe that is more flexible, lighter and allows you to run faster,” Bartie points out.
The team behind the shoe are all runners and they have spent hours running, exploring and sharing experiences to build the ECCO BIOM Trail FL.
“Our guideline in working with this shoe has been functionality. Functionality first. When I see our products in action – see them perform – that is the best reward I can have,” says Bartie.
As a designer, he has one clear mission.
“I want to give people the tool they need to achieve their goal.”
What is the key to combining functionality with design?
“Starting right and being disciplined! Before we start sketching, we put down ideas on paper. These design markers are our guidelines as we ensure that form follows functions in every line we draw.”
What are your main drivers to remain innovative in your designs?
“To be challenged and bring new ideas to market is what inspires me the most. To constantly improve and drive evolution rather than revolution. When I am on the edge and challenge myself – it is there you find the source of my energy.”
What do you always carry with you?
“My notebook. My notebook is crucial. You never know when inspiration or ideas appear.”
How would you describe your work as a designer?
“When you are working with shoes you take on a lot of responsibility. You are not just responsible for a part of the product – you are responsible for the entire shoe. In bringing the ECCO BIOM Trail FL to market, we are an entire team working together to make it happen. Everyone from leather experts in our tanneries to shoe technicians and designers. My role is to challenge and inspire, to take creative risks to uncover new directions and find new ideas.“
ECCO, a world-leading brand of shoes combining style and comfort, has built its success on quality and innovative technology. Founded in 1963, ECCO is one of the few major shoe manufacturers in the world to own and manage every step of the shoemaking pro-cess. Today, ECCO products are sold in 87 countries at 1,177 ECCO stores, 1,812 shop-in-shops and a total of 15,000 sales points around the world. The company is family-owned and the workplace to 18,500 employees from over 50 countries. For more information, please visit ecco.com