Ecco Footwear

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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For over 40 years, Ecco has been a powerful force in the world of footwear. Ecco was established in the early 1960s by Karl Toosbuy. From 1963 to 1974, the company and its production facilities remained exclusively in Denmark. In 1974, however, Ecco began limited production in Brazil. This began a sweeping trend toward international production and sales.

In 1981, a subsidiary of Ecco footwear was created in Germany, to deal with the large volume of German business. A year later, Ecco production began in Japan. In 1984, production of Ecco shoes began in Portugal. To this day, over 1,000 Portugese employees produce over 15,000 pairs of Ecco shoes each and every work day.

Later, production facilities were created in Cyprus, Indonesia, and the former Czechoslovakia, and subsidiaries were created in Sweden and Austria. Within a short period of time, Ecco footwear had established itself as an important, international presence. Ecco established a formal subsidiary in the United States in 1990, and by 1994, were named Company of the Year in the U.S. In 1998, 35 years after founding Ecco, Karl Toosbuy was knighted by Denmark's Queen Margrethe II.

The Ecco Footwear Success Story

Founder Karl Toosbuy passed away in 2004, but his legacy lives on. Ecco footwear reportedly produces more than 12 million pairs of shoes per year. What is the secret of Ecco's fabulous success?

Much of their great success stems from the company's lauded design department. Design is creative and bold, with an emphasis on comfort. Ecco is successful because it creates a lot of repeat business. This repeat business would indicate that wearers find Ecco shoes comfortable, durable, and user-friendly.

I find the style of Ecco shoes to be very current, without being trendy. They seem to perfectly capture fashion while avoiding fad. Their shoes always look like they're on the cutting edge, yet they can be worn for years without losing their appeal. This isn't the kind of footwear that looks great in 2004, and ridiculously out of date by 2005. The shoes have a timelessness and classic aesthetic to back up the funky, fashion-forward first impression they make.

The Future of Ecco

After Karl Toosbuy passed away in 2004, ownership was given to daughter Hanni Toosbuy Kasprzak. Toosbuy Kasprzak is also chairperson of Ecco's board of supervisors. Hanni Toosbuy Kasprzak's husband, Dieter Kasprzak, is the company's president. Ecco seems to be as strong as ever, with a growing presence across the globe.

The design team at Ecco continues to surprise and delight the fashion world with comfortable, unique and very cool shoes. From hip slip-ons to classic Oxfords, Ecco men's shoes fit beautifully in a number of settings. These are the kinds of shoes that are appropriate in the office yet stylish in a restaurant or club. Women find Ecco shoes the perfect balance of style and sensibility. These shoes manage to look beautiful and very hip without torturing the feet, a rather refreshing concept in the world of women's footwear.


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