Emily Kroll has influenced many name-droppable brands, including Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang. Born in Texas but now rooted with her family in Brooklyn, her signature is clean, timeless and feminine — with a splash of NYC downtown edge. So, why footwear? How did her path cross with ECCO's? And how does she feel her work on ECCO's formal range will resonate with the women who wear them?
From an early age I knew I wanted to be in the art or design world. But it wasn't until I went to college at the Art Institute of Chicago and took a footwear design course that I fell in love with the medium. Footwear, to me, felt like a kind of art, with a need and a purpose. It was sculptural and functional at the same time.
I do have other artistic outlets. I've played the cello since I was nine and still play from time to time when I need to clear my head. I'm just learning to weave on a floor loom and love being able to physically make the pieces I design.
I try to dive into new projects without letting too much information cloud my creativity. If I focus too much on every constraint, such as price or execution, I end up stuck and am not able to create my most inventive work. Instead, I try to sketch freely and then give myself some space to circle back and figure out how to mould some ideas into the client's requests.
In my studio, me and my right-hand designer Diana Soto work through everything together, building on each other's instincts. It makes for a much more well thought-out and interesting product.
I actually used ECCO tannery leathers in a previous design director's role. At the time, although I knew of ECCO quality, I had no idea of how technologically innovative ECCO was as a brand. ECCO and I hit it off and discussed a collaboration.
ECCO SHAPE SCULPTED MOTION marries sleek, downtown cool with cutting-edge comfort technology at three wearable heel heights. The cylindrical heel gives the styles a sculptural profile, and the anatomical footbed and the direct-injected mould platform give a comfort edge. The Fall boot styles are so modern and chic that it's kind of a secret they are so comfortable.
Emily Kroll - Shoe Designer
Footwear should both feel good and look good — the two don't need to be mutually exclusive. I want to feel as good walking to the subway as I am holding a meeting or grabbing a drink with friends after work. Gone are the days when women wear sneakers on their morning commute and slip on their spike heel stilettos at their desk. Women want to be comfortable and look good all day. They want to be able to walk out of the office straight to dinner with friends and feel stylish and comfortable in both scenarios.
When I go on a trip to upstate New York or visit my home state of Texas and tell people I work with ECCO, everyone agrees they are the most reliable shoes they own. They are less aware that ECCO has applied their comfort technology to heels and formal ranges. When I wear my SHAPE SCULPTED MOTION boots, I get stopped on the street by so many people asking where they are from. And they are surprised when I say ECCO.