ECCO Leather X A-COLD-WALL: An interview with Samuel Ross

ECCO Leather joined forces with luxury menswear brand A-COLD-WALL to create three bespoke leathers for their SS22 Collection. The brand’s creative director Samuel Ross (1991) is an artist, designer, and the founder of A-COLD-WALL* which compounds garment design, large installations and sound design in an approach frequently summarised as a ‘material study for social architecture’. We spoke with Ross about his vision for incorporating leather into design.

​​EL: When choosing materials to work with, what’s most important to you and the team at A-COLD-WALL? 

SR: There’s a balance of hand-touch, visual interest, and material composition that comes into play. Meshing these three principles to operate as a discovery system, or points of discovery technique, is something we apply to all materials within our studio. It’s a balance between expression, function and experimentation.


 EL: What kind of materials do you find most inspiring?

 SR: It varies, though there is a constant involved–that being specificity. It’s more an obsession with information, understanding process and compositions, and newness being ushered in. A constant through-line would be craft, time and innovation. It’s the properties behind a material.


EL: How do materials influence your design?

 SR: Materials are used as code and signal nodes. Often materials that are selected or developed personify enquiries into case-studies, emotions, and values linked to our brand protagonists–the urbanite, the artist, the industrial designer.

EL: How would you describe your experience of working with ECCO Leather?

SR: The elasticity and open format of working is highly unique. This is in direct reference to working with the ECCO Leather team - Panos (Myratos) Erik (Jander), Marie (Burlot), and Christine (Mukakasa). There’s a creative freedom and open culture that is in support of the unexpected.


EL: Can you describe how you use leather in different applications, for accessories or apparel?

SR: Innovation within leather is a relatively new access point for us. Historically we’ve utilised leather for its ability to hold sculptural forms, though I’ve never been totally satisfied with the leather surfaces we’ve had access to, nor the range of iterations. Fundamentally, our first season with ECCO Leather is the first time I’ve felt comfortable working with leather, as the expectations on the materials scope and malleability are both vast and specialised.

EL: What is your view on the future of materials? How does sustainability factor into your designs?

SR: Heavy reductions in synthetic materials that are not soluble or easily converted without overuse of fossil fuels, to re-invent. Far more plant based solutions, composites, fibres and lacquers. More reliance on membranes and partial linings to avoid overconsumption on materials that are not scalable for environment based reasons.

I’m optimistic, it’s a gradual shift, though we’ve increased our engagements with sustainability season on season.


EL: We follow your fine arts sculpture work and are wondering if leather as a material interests you for furniture, objects, and sculptural applications?

SR: Without a doubt in mind - let’s begin.


EL: Thanks for your time Samuel, and the opportunity to collaborate with A-COLD-WALL. We’re looking forward to more leather making projects together.

The three leathers created in collaboration with Samuel Ross and A-COLD-WALL were

1. Bespoke perforated white leather fused with orange Dyneema
2. Bespoke Dyneema fused Leather Dozer
3. Bespoke Apparition leather in blue with silver backing

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