From the very beginning, the sassy fox and his black mask have been a natural part of Wildling: in the logo on the shoe box, in person during campaign shoots, and as a storyteller from the fox’s den.
But why a fox? How did he&mdashof all creatures&mdashend up becoming the Wildling symbol?
Wildling turns five this year, which makes this a great opportunity to get to the bottom of the story of the fox.
So join us on a little journey down memory lane...
It all started with this competition:
“ Looking for the perfect logo for our innovative shoe brand”
The innovative shoe brand was Wildling, and the winner of the competition was illustrator Petra Kolonics:
“I am always looking for innovative companies to work with, especially startups with sustainability and social responsibility as their core values.”
As a freelancer, Petra enjoys the flexibility and freedom that come with being able to work from anywhere in the world. Hence, her “studio” might at times be situated in the jungle, at other times in the desert, and sometimes even way up in the mountains. “And the cool thing is that I can always go to work in my pajamas,” Petra chuckles.
With her love of nature, her values, and her thirst for freedom, Petra and the Wildlings (who at that time weren’t the Wildlings officially, but instead were Anna and Ran, three shoe-averse children, a good idea, and an indomitable sense of adventure) were a perfect match.
And that’s also why the trio’s initial creative brainstorming proved to be both harmonious and playful; ideas were collected, developed, and sometimes discarded.
Anna told Petra that the shoes would be soft and flexible with a Japanese influence and that they were going to be called “Wildlings.”
And as is so often the case with inspiration and good ideas, he suddenly appeared: the fox.
“All of a sudden, I could just picture the fox with his black paws that looked like socks. I thought about how soft, soundless, and confident his every step was. He’s like a ninja in the night. He’s mysterious. He’s clever, swift, and beautiful. Chancing upon a fox is always a very special moment. Whether you meet him in the woods or in town.”
Petra was sure that the fox was a symbol that both adults and children would be able to relate to. “The shoes of a fox. You walking like a fox. In the forest. And in the city!”
Anna and Ran were convinced immediately and it was clear: The fox would become the Wildling brand ambassador.
But this isn’t where our story ends. The fox was decided, that much was clear, but just how should he look? Petra set to work straight away, producing a series of designs.
Petra’s fox designs: Can you spot the “real” Wildling fox?
And there he was at last, red and white, set against a gray backdrop, and soon on the back of the very first Wildling minimalist shoes.
Since then, Wildlings and the fox have been (literally) inseparable, and more recently, the fox is no longer the only one in his den: A somewhat streamlined, slightly more “grown-up” fox has moved in to grace the Rewild sizes.
There’s just one thing left to settle: Why does the fox wear a mask?
Ran has a wonderful answer to this question: “Because the fox is a superhero and his shoes give him secret powers. They look completely ordinary, but they harbor superpowers inside!”
And that’s exactly how all Wildlings, big and small, should feel: like weightless superheroes, always heading off on their next adventure.
And that’s also how our story could end.
But it doesn’t! Because the fox is just the beginning and because with each pair of Wildlings, a new story, a whole new adventure unfolds…
Anna, Ran, the Wildlings, and the fox...