Natacha Ramsay-Levi and Bianca Saunders join new leather design collective

Ecco Leather, a leading leather supplier, is launching a new design project called AT.Kollektive, involving top fashion designers, including former Chloé designer Natacha Ramsay-Levi and accessories designer Isaac Reina (who previously worked at Hermès) to create limited-edition items to publicize its materials and manufacturing capabilities.

Greek designer Kostas Murkudis and former ANDAM winner Bianca Saunders also join the first selection of guest designers. Architect Bernard Dubois will create an installation to showcase the items at events during the menswear and couture weeks of Paris Fashion Week this summer, as well as at a Copenhagen-based AT.Kollektive store, whose l Opening is currently scheduled for August 2023.

Ecco Leather, which supplies leather to top luxury brands as well as its parent company Ecco Group’s eponymous footwear label, tasked each designer with creating a nine-piece collection – which can encompass everything from shoes and bags to ready-to-wear and furniture — using its signature materials.

The project is primarily intended as a marketing game, as Ecco Leather hopes to educate consumers about its leather materials and raise awareness of its organization, according to Ecco Group Managing Director Panos Mytaros, who took office last August after nearly 20 years in the company. Bringing in a rotating cast of buzzing creatives, who will be rotated every two seasons, the company is also set to deepen its ties with influential players in the fashion industry.

“AT.Kollektive is the gallery and the designers are the artists,” Mytaros said of the concept. “The number one for us was to highlight all the innovations, the technologies — the ways of assembling a shoe, the way of making the leather, the way of sustaining our materials, and then finally also the making of the bags — of enhance them by a creator. ”

The move comes amid a growing appetite by luxury brands for alternatives to leather, as companies try to meet their sustainability goals and appeal to a younger generation of environmentally conscious consumers. Earlier this year, Kering invested in laboratory leather start-up VitroLabs, while Kering-owned Hermès, Stella McCartney and Balenciaga have all recently released products made from leather for the first time. mushroom materials. Other brands have experimented with leather alternatives made from grapes and pineapples.

Alternatives to vegan leather could be introduced in later collections, the company said, although Mytaros believes animal-derived leather can also be a sustainable material option for the luxury industry. AT.Kollektive products are intended to highlight “the value of the material and the real durability”, he said, stressing that the durability of the material is a key asset for the longevity of the product. “We think our job is to showcase how we make it and how sustainably we make it, because we believe leather can be very durable,” he said.

The first collections of Ramsay-Levi, Reina, Murkudis and Saunders, between 295 and 13,500 €, will be unveiled during a presentation at the Palais de Tokyo during Paris Men’s Fashion Week this summer. They are expected to be sold through multi-brand retailers in addition to the Copenhagen store.

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