Ecco reveals Natacha Ramsay-Levi footwear capsule and a new direction

Ecco’s ‘NRL’ footwear collection by new creative partner Natacha Ramsay-Levi is just one step in its fresh direction

Ecco Natacha Ramsay-Levi Collaboration campaign
Japanese model and actor Kiko Mizuhara and her musician and model sister Ashley Yuka star in Ecco’s ‘What Makes A Family’ campaign, part of a refreshed vision for the brand
(Image credit: Photography by Sean Thomas, courtesy of Ecco)

In partnership with Ecco

Ecco, the global footwear and lifestyle brand, is marking 60 years since its founding as a family business in Denmark with a refreshed vision and initiatives including a new creative partner, designer Natacha Ramsay-Levi, whose debut capsule collection launches this week; a new campaign by photographer Sean Thomas; and the relaunch of 16 flagship stores.

Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s debut Ecco capsule

Natacha Ramsay-Levi portrait

Natacha Ramsay-Levi

(Image credit: Ecco)

In her role as a creative partner, Ramsay-Levi – former creative director of Chloé and protégée of Nicolas Ghesquière during his decade-long tenure at Balenciaga – will be designing bi-annual capsule collections for Ecco, titled ‘NRL’, mining a mix between masculine and feminine, riffing on sportswear codes and adding her own fresh takes on brand signatures. 

She began her working relationship with Ecco as part of the first intake of its collaborative design programme At.Kollektive, which invites designers from various disciplines to work with the brand’s vast library of leathers

Natacha Ramsay-Levi in Ecco shoes

Natacha Ramsay-Levi in a pair of her hybrid Ecco shoes

(Image credit: Courtesy of Ecco)

Now, as creative partner, her debut ‘NRL’ drop for Ecco, whose launch coincides with Frieze London 2023 and features 15 shoe styles, plays with proportion and colour and reimagines brand icons in a visually bolder language.  

The collection includes monochrome heeled loafers, ‘Biom’ trail shoes recast as colour-block pumps, and lace-up, block-heeled walking boots that have wear-everywhere appeal. With the look blurring the lines between art and technology, the palette is 4K eye-popping – think bubble-gum pinks and cherry reds with rubber-look leather detailing. 

‘This is not about a designer coming in and changing everything,’ says Ramsay-Levi. ‘It’s about highlighting what already exists with another point of view.’

PinkPantheress Ecco shoes

Singer and producer PinkPantheress with her childhood best friend Bleona, who also star in the new Ecco campaign

(Image credit: Photography by Sean Thomas, courtesy of Ecco)

A refreshed brand vision

The partnership comes as Ecco is entering a new era with a fresh creative vision. Not a relaunch but a refresh, the new-look Ecco is a bold reinterpretation of the culture always present at the core of the brand – namely, long-held values of innovation, responsibility, a people-first approach, and democratic Danish design for the many not the few.

 ‘There is something very special, super authentic, super true about Ecco; a quiet confidence which I love,’ says Ramsay-Levi. ‘They know who they are, what they do, and control how they do it. And because they have this trust and awareness and knowledge, they can take risks. I’m very impressed by the way everything is done – from technical innovations to the brand culture.’

Ecco shoes campaign

Pro-rider and stuntman Travis Pastrana, his pro-skateboarder wife Lyn-Z Pastrana and their daughters for Ecco

(Image credit: Photography by Sean Thomas, courtesy of Ecco)

A new campaign and relaunched flagship stores

A family-run business since its founding by a husband-and-wife team Karl and Birte Toosbuy 60 years ago, Ecco has always placed people at the heart of how and why it functions. To acknowledge the significance of the modern family in business and culture, a new Ecco campaign, ‘What Makes A Family’, by photographer Sean Thomas, captures three working families and explores contemporary living. Featured are pro-rider and stuntman Travis Pastrana, his pro-skateboarder wife Lyn-Z Pastrana and their daughters; Japanese model and actor Kiko Mizuhara and her musician and model sister Ashley Yuka; and English singer and producer PinkPantheress with her childhood best friend Bleona.

To coincide with the campaign, Ecco is relaunching 16 flagship stores. Featured throughout its spaces, the campaign images, emphasising the company’s people-first value, are designed to help bring local communities together. 

Ecco store interior

Inside one of Ecco’s refreshed stores

(Image credit: Courtesy of Ecco)

The company is also opening a new boutique in SoHo, New York, designed in partnership with architecture firm Stimuli, and will launch a redesigned website that is easier to use, mobile-first and more intuitive.

‘Our journey began 60 years ago with a dream to make original designs for everyday life,’ reflects Panos Mytaros, Ecco CEO. ‘The number one goal today is to make Ecco even stronger. We’ll keep pushing the spirit and the products and renewing the brand, all without scaring anyone away, but just adding more. They key in everything we do is not to do something because others did or didn’t do it. I’m not interested in that. I think, and hope, that when we show Ecco to the world, people will relate to it.’