People - 28/07/2014

It’s all about shoes!

Did you know that your shoes say a lot about you? If you ask Simon Grønlund, 26, a student from Design School Kolding in Denmark, that is the case.

“My interest in shoes was aroused together with my interest in different identities. I find shoes very important and almost revealing when it comes to reading people. Take a look at your shoes – what do they say about you?” Simon Grønlund points out.

He adds that shoes are the ingredient that complete an outfit.

“Shoes are the most important detail of an outfit. Shoes can change the entire outfit; dressing up, dressing down – and being a shoe designer you influence what the consumers wear; that is really interesting,” says Simon Grønlund.

He joins a summer course in footwear design at Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design & Marketing in Florence. He is also a student at Design School Kolding with a trainee period at ECCO.

“Being an apprentice with ECCO is very challenging and extremely educational. I have learned a lot about both design and production, which is knowledge that I bring with me to Italy in this course,” says Simon Grønlund.

Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design & Marketing is an Italian centre of excellence, recognised worldwide for its high quality, fashion-oriented offers from Design & Marketing to Management and Communication.

“The teachers introduce you to their individual passion within fashion, which is very inspiring. I do classes like textile technology, shoemaking and pattern making, fashion history, processes and sewing by hand,” Simon Grønlund explains.

He especially enjoys working in 2D with sketches and mood boards because he has direct access to the tools that make his designs come alive.

“I go to the workshop with my design to sew the upper and work with the last. I find leather an interesting material to work with because I contribute to its shape and characterise it in the direction that I want it,” Simon Grønlund says.

The trip to Florence is made possible with a scholarship, which is founded as part of the partnership between Danish shoe manufacturer ECCO and Design School Kolding.

“In ECCO we love to be challenged on innovation and especially young designers, who are not yet shaped by the industry, they often throw interesting challenges at us,” says Jakob Møller Hansen, Vice President R&D.

As part of the partnership agreement with ECCO, Design School Kolding is establishing a shoe and last workshop e.g. for producing prototypes. In addition, ECCO Chief Designer Ejnar Truelsen is appointed affiliate professor.

”I hope and know that I will return to Denmark with new techniques and methods to develop my knowledge as well as my drive to explore the craftsmanship of shoemaking,” says Simon Grønlund, who also has developed a significant network during his stay in Italy.

About ECCO

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