We chat with our head designer about the process behind creating comfortable clogs and take a peek inside her office!
Trine Skjoldan Kallesøe is the head designer at Sanita in Denmark - she is the powerful creative force behind our footwear. She has been with the company since 2003, and with close to 20 years in the clog business alone and formal training in shoe design, she is the expert at combining fashion with comfort.
Good clog design is important but the essence is the comfort of the clog.
What got you started in design/what is your background?
I started at a young age as trainee working for ECCO shoes which is one of the world's largest shoe brands. I soon found my “right spot” in shoe construction and shoe design. During my training I studied shoe design and technic in ARSutoria, Milan. In 2003 it was time for me to get settled and starting a family so it was perfect timing when I was contacted by the Sanita head office in Denmark, very near to my home; I have been a member of the Sanita family ever since.
What is your favorite thing about working at Sanita?
I love working with the clogs where genuine materials, print and patterns are in focus. I also enjoy very much working together with the Sanita team both in Denmark and in Poland (where the Sanita factory is located). We have been working together for many years and everybody is doing a great job meeting our customer’s needs.
What is your process for designing clogs - from first idea to when it gets made at the factory?
Trend research, feedback from our markets, material sourcing, sketching and creating style cards, prototype development in Poland, range building, producing sales samples.
How do you get ideas for new designs and what inspires you?
Every season I travel to Italy visiting leather fairs searching for new developments on materials. We work closely together with tanneries developing new colors for the season. I attend trend seminars and follow shoe and fashion brands on Instagram. For the American market I work closely together with the US office on range building. The team there gives me input and ideas which are suitable for the States.
I like travelling and meet other cultures. After my trips to Milan I am filled with inspiration and carry heavy bags home with color swatches and samples.
The Scandinavian minimalistic look, good craftmanship and long lasting classic design match perfectly with clogs.
What's the most important thing about good clog design?
Good clog design is important but the essence is the comfort of the clog. The Sanita Original Professional clog has an anatomically shaped footbed which provides maximum comfort in our clogs. When we combine the outsole with genuine thick leather or suede lined, cleanable coated materials we get a very nice product which can last for years.
Danish design is famous around the world - how do you define it and how does it relate to clogs?
The Scandinavian minimalistic look, good craftmanship and long lasting classic design match perfectly with clogs. Sanita has been producing clogs since 1907 and clogs have become more than a shoe for hard working people. Our clog silhouette and comfort stay the same but materials are developed and follow trends and demands for focus on sustainability.
Tell me a little bit about the role that clogs play in Danish life/style - who wears them and when?
In Denmark the comfort clogs (Original Professional) are mainly bought for working purpose – either in garden, hospitals, dentists, kitchen etc. Most Danes own a pair of clogs but unlike in the US, we prefer wearing open back clogs. Our wooden clogs and sandals are very popular in Germany, Holland, England and France.
What is your favorite part about being a designer at Sanita?
When working for a company who has their own factory you are able to follow and control the process from design to finished product. I love working with dedicated people and I have the best colleagues you could wish for.
What's your favorite style that you have designed?
I love our wooden clogs and also wear them a lot myself. If I should choose one favorite it would be our Salto flex sandal which is a slide sandal in interlaced oily nubuck.
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