"It's a funny story," says Thomas, laughing, who 20 years later is still at ECCO, now employed as the Category Manager for the Men's collection. "The two jobs I had had before ECCO, I had worn a suit, so it was quite natural for me to work in one. Apparently, it hadn't gone unnoticed, because on the first day, I was called to reception and, suddenly, found myself in one of the ECCO cars, driving foreign guests to the airport," he says.
"I had been singled out for wearing a suit that day — because I was the only one — and I was using it to play chauffeur." Luckily, Thomas says his passengers were unaware he wasn't actually a chauffeur, and, despite being new to the area, and driving against the clock in a time before GPS was used, he managed to get them there for their flight. Unsurprisingly, Thomas wore jeans for his second day at ECCO.
"Twenty years ago, ECCO was ahead of its time, with people in the office wearing what they were most comfortable in. That's why there's such a big focus on sneakers, we all wear them, so that's what is reflected in our collection,"
Thomas says."We combine our history and knowledge as shoemakers, with our expertise in leather tanning and performance, to produce versatile modern hybrids." It is not surprising then that ECCO has recently added a new product to their three-step cleaning range — the ECCO Midsole Cleaning Kit — which comes with a foam Midsole Clear, two brushes and a cotton cloth. ECCO Accessories cleaning expert Fionn O'Toole says the kit is an important evolution for sneaker care, and is essential to keep white outsoles white.
"Times may have changed since the heyday of formal office wear and the sneaker may be the current king, but the idea of keeping a shoe perfect remains ingrained in our minds," Fionn says. "There is still something incredibly satisfying about seeing the dirt come out of the soles!"