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A family portrait

Not so very long ago, a group of Wildlings gathered in an enchanted place to capture the models from the 2020 Autumn/Winter collection on camera. In this article, we already chronicled our visit to the former quarry, which was the scene of our campaign photo shoots. Today we meet some of the people who have been hard at work both in front of and behind the camera, putting Winter Heath, Honeybear, and the other Wildling models from the current collection into the limelight.

Together we are Wildling – not only as team members working in the fox’s den, but as a community of people who love the feeling of minimal shoes and aspire to make a positive contribution to our world. Which is why we are thrilled that this campaign shoot has developed into a kind of Wildling family project.

In front of the camera

For the first time, members from our community – among them the Buch family – appear among the faces of the 2020 Autumn/Winter campaign. And the team in the fox’s den aren’t the only ones who were pleased about that, as Eva-Maria Buch told us after the shoot:

“We were all impressed by the lovely Wildling team that accompanied us before, during, and after the photo shoot. The chance to get a peek behind the scenes was super exciting for everyone.
Fatima liked the photo shoot styling with Olga and the wild ponies the best 🥰... both the kids and the grown-ups had so much fun – it was an incredibly thrilling day!”


Yolanda, Fatima, Eva-Maria, Osigwe, and Malia (from left to right) together with Winter Heath, Wombat, Crow, and Starling – thank you so much for being here! (Image: Wildling Shoes/Julia Sellmann)


Due to current hygiene regulations, the shoot was spread out over two days, so on the following day the team welcomed another Wildling – Sarah Marie, who has worked with Wildling for three years – together with her family, to the quarry.

Sarah Marie’s wife Ela describes the day like this:
“I would never have put on make-up like this or chosen these clothes myself. For a couple of hours, I had the chance to slip into a completely different role. The little quarry is a fascinating place where you instantly feel as if you’ve been transported back to your childhood and you remember all the games you used to play. As a horse freak, it was beautiful to watch Anna’s ponies and to find ways to interact with them.”


Otis, Ela, Lowe, and Sarah Marie (from left to right) accompanied by Little Wolf, Crow, Nessie, and Winter Heath (Image: Wildling Shoes/Julia Sellmann)


Naturally the fox was curious and came armed with a few questions. For one thing, he wanted to know what freedom meant to Sarah Marie.

“As a blind woman, freedom for me means being able to do and achieve (almost) anything I want. This involves the will, the strength, and the courage to push (my) limits anew every day and to strike a balance with my inner peace.”

And for you, Lowe?

“The great wide world! And also being free from bad thoughts.”

Barbara and Albrecht – the parents of founder Anna Yona – are also among the new faces appearing on camera for the first time, although they have been part of the Wildling family from the very beginning. But Barbara herself has the most beautiful words to express her connection to Wildling:

“My connection to Wildling is a very, very intimate one. I’m the mother of the founder Anna Yona and have been with her – my heart pounding – from day one, when she and my beloved son-in-law Ran first came up with the “harebrained idea” (as we thought at first) of designing shoes. Today my husband and I wear nothing but Wildlings because they’ve relieved the pain in our feet, knees, and back and also because we think they’re quite stylish.”


The “silver foxes” Barbara and Albrecht with Rubus and Honeybear (Image: Wildling Shoes/Julia Sellmann)


Behind the camera

Apart from fantastic faces, a photo session like this one also relies on the people who take care of all the “bits and pieces,” like the make-up and the costume design. For these two areas, too, we enlisted support from the Wildling family.

Olga spends her “normal” work days in our showroom in Cologne, but during the two days in the quarry she also had the chance to leverage her talent as a stylist. How did this come about, Olga?

“I first began working as a wedding stylist when I was 18. We talked about this during my job interview with Wildling in July of 2019, and I’ve pretty much been looking forward to joining one of our photo shoots ever since. Before the styling trial run as well as before the actual photo shoot, I was so nervous that I couldn’t sleep. But that turned out to be totally unnecessary – it was a wonderful day and the feedback was fantastic. I hope I’ll be able to participate again next time – it’s such a great feeling when you can see your work reflected in the photos.”


Precision work: Olga gives Albrecht's look the final touch (Image: Wildling Shoes/Sandra Dienemann)


And when it came to the costume design, Wildling also discovered that the best resources are right at our doorstep: Lena Thelen, who used some of the fabrics from uppers featured in the collection to sew the coordinated outfits and also dressed the models, is the wife of Jochen, who supervised the shoot in his capacity as Wildling’s art director. Lena is a stage and costume designer by profession. What do you like most about your work, Lena?

“It is a tremendous gift for me professionally to be able to repeatedly devote myself to entirely new thematic fields, to research them, to develop a visual language for them, which then becomes part of a great collective work.
Back when Wildling was seeking fashion coordination support for the coming photo shoot and my theater production was put on hold during the lockdown, I was delighted to be able to continue working and to even have the time to sit down at the sewing machine myself, to utilize fabric samples from the collection materials, and to integrate and highlight their color and the structure of the weave into the images.”


Does it fit, does it wiggle, is there space? Lena (center) casts a final scrutinizing glance at Barbara's and Albrecht's outfits (Image: Wildling Shoes/Sandra Dienemann)


For Wildling, this campaign shoot was a truly special one for so many different reasons – our sincere thanks to everyone involved! We hope it will be followed by many more to come so we can continue to show that “We are all Wildling.”

Run wild,

Anna, Ran and the Wildlings


Cover photo: Wildling Shoes/Julia Sellmann



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