The floor is covered with colour and pattern samples for the next collection, bales of cloth are piled up along the walls. On the large table in the middle of the room, there’s a notebook drowning among design sketches, boxes of colourful threads and fox motifs.
Welcome to the workplace of Kristin and Sabine, who are responsible for Wildlings’ design and comfort.
Sabine's focus is on product design. It's not just about colours and shapes, but also about trends and lifestyle - because a Wildling has become a lot more than just a shoe, right?
Kristin also considers colours and shapes, but focuses above all on the functionality of the Wildlings. And she’s not at all shy about it: she opens a drawer to reveal sliced up Wildlings.
"Well, if I want to find out why a Wildling is not as flexible as it should be, then I have to look at it from the inside or in cross-section," she explains with a laugh. Identifying the root causes of problems and solving them is her main job at Wilding Shoes.
In Kristin’s studio, all prototypes go through thorough quality control - and are put to the acid test.
"I love it when we’ve found something that both looks good AND is practical. Or - for example - when I’ve found the perfect balance for a model combining low weight and flexibility with durability and weather proofing." Compromises? No, thanks.
Actually, Kristin is a trained milliner. However, she soon quit the job for other projects. A passionate amateur climber, she couldn’t find any suitable sports trousers that satisfied her demands for a stylish look, freedom of movement and durability. Without further ado, she then grabbed her sewing machine and started to design the JUNG climbing trousers that soon gained popularity in climbing circles.
Kristin has supported Wildling Shoes and provided valuable advice from the very beginning. "I met Anna through a mutual acquaintance. He used to advise me in the early days of my business. Most of the time I responded to his advice by telling him something like 'No, thanks for the tip, but I'll do it differently'.
At one point he shook his head and said, 'I know someone who always answers in the same way as you if I try to give her advice - you should meet her!’ And so he introduced Anna and me to each other. And we liked each other straightaway. Since the parallels between the climbing trousers and the Wildlings are obvious in terms of materials used and the requirements for flexibility, durability and production methods, this was a logical cooperation!"
Now Kristin works part-time for Wildling Shoes. Sometimes Ran and Anna bring new ideas, sometimes Kristin presents designs for new models and materials. "For example, I’m dreaming of a wolfwool, without the membrane or microfibre. Wool is such a great material for clothing: it’s heat-insulating and water-repellent, almost self-cleaning - what more could you want? I think it would simply be consistent to produce a shoe made exclusively of this super-functional natural material.
But I love the paper-based Tanuki, too, that's an awesome model! Wearing it feels so light and comfortable - it’s a truly unique Wildling!"
Dear Kristin, we’re very happy to have you in our Wildling Shoes family.
You can watch Kristin and Sabine at work on our YouTube channel.