COPENHAGEN--Last night Danish shoe brand Ecco kicked off Copenhagen fashion week with their annual "Walk In Style" event--an awards/fashion show they've been putting on for the last four years to recognize women (i.e. Scandinavian socialite types) for their contributions to charity, but also to show off the fall collections.
First, a bit about Ecco: I've gotten to know a lot about Ecco over the past few days as they've been my gracious fashion week hosts.
So to clarify, Ecco has nothing to do with Mark Ecko (as in, they couldn't be more different). Ecco is a Denmark-based shoe company that has been around for over 40 years and currently employs over 15,000 people across the globe--they are also the third largest producer of casual footwear in the world. Ecco is unique in that they own all of their own production--from the tanneries that treat the leather (they use everything from camel to yak leather) to the factories that produce the shoes.
Ecco has a reputation for being a bit staid and sensible in the unfashionable and orthopedic-looking way. They are known for comfort and still make it a priority when designing their shoes. So it was surprising when the Ecco fashion show, styled by Dansk magazine founders Uffe Buchard and Kim Grenaa, sent out models in giant puppet heads with hair in dreadlocks made of recycled clothing and teddy bears and nothing but a body stocking and Ecco shoes on the bottom. They also had pendulous swinging rag boobs, naturally. This was all to fit in with Ecco's "Nordic Grunge" theme for the coming fall. The over-sized Halloween papier-mâché costume-type thing continued to match the brand's next two trends for AW2011: "Forest Future" and "Red Passion." (The models all deserved their own mini-Walk in Style awards too for somehow navigating the runway in these crazy puppet heads--at one point two bumped heads but managed to stay vertical.)
Despite being so sensible and comfort-driven, the shoes were actually pretty cute. Ecco's clearly making strides to become more fashionable (including, gasp, heels over an inch). The "Nordic Grunge" collection stood out, especially a pair of lace-up boots in gray leather with contrast orange laces.
Check out the costumes and the collection.