Graz/Kopfing, 13 October 2022. Alongside legero and superfit, Think! is one of the three major brands of Austrian shoe manufacturer legero united. The brand, located in Kopfing, Upper Austria, was founded in 1991 by Martin Koller, who has been in charge of it ever since. On 15 October 2022, he will hand over the operational management of collection development to Christoph Mayer, who has already been working closely with him as Deputy Head of the Think! business unit since 1 March 2021. Martin Koller will continue to be an active part of collection design for the Think! brand.
A pioneer in sustainable shoe manufacturing
Think! was first conceived as a sustainable brand by Martin Koller more than 30 years ago and has been manufacturing its collections exclusively in line with sustainable standards since its founding in 1991. The brand has been a pioneer in sustainability in the footwear industry: in 2015, it was the first shoe brand to be certified with the Austrian Ecolabel and the Blue Angel. Currently, 40 models from the AW 22 collection have been awarded the coveted environmental accolades. In 2022, Think! was chosen by German textile and shoe retailers as the top brand in the sustainability category. Think! models are handcrafted exclusively in Europe with European suppliers in up to 200 steps according to the criteria of the FairWearFoundation. The in-house repair service in Kopfing guarantees a long lifespan. Martin Koller: “For Think!, sustainability is not a trend, but a timeless attitude. Think! Sees sustainability as more than just a buzzword, and design as more than fleeting fashion trends. Think! has provided sustainable women’s and men’s shoes with a perfect fit and a unique design for genuine individualists for more than 30 years.”
Craftsmanship steeped in the tradition of shoemaking
A distinctive design, shoemaking craftsmanship and innovative thinking are part of a long tradition at Think! In 1923, Martin Koller’s grandfather established a shoemaking workshop and leather business in the community of Kopfing, laying the foundation for a successful family business with roots dating back to 1875. In the 1950s, Martin Koller’s father transformed the workshop into the Marko Schuhfabrik. For over 40 years, the company manufactured exclusively men’s shoes. In 1990, Martin Koller took over the management of the business. He shifted the focus beyond the exclusively men’s shoe business to ecologically manufactured, healthy shoes with a sophisticated, aesthetic appeal for both men and women. Even after the Think! brand was incorporated into the legero united company in 2000, the strategic management of collection development remained with Martin Koller. Think! remained unchanged as an independent brand and company at the site in Kopfing. Martin Koller’s concept for the brand was and is groundbreaking: the sustainably crafted Think! Shoes, with their distinctive and individual design, are now sold in over 20 countries.
Martin Koller to remain involved in creative collection development
The transfer of the operational management of collection design to Christoph Mayer has been carefully planned for the past two years. Stefan Stolitzka, Owner and CEO of legero united: “Martin Koller’s signature designs have shaped Think! since the brand’s inception. He has developed the brand into an internationally successful sustainability pioneer in the footwear industry. We are happy that he will continue to play an active role in the creative processes of collection development in the years to come, working closely with the Think! team. The successful cooperation between Martin Koller and Christoph Mayer in the last few years has proven that this constellation works.”
Christoph Mayer has been with Think! since 2014. The Upper Austrian began his career as an independent shoe retailer in Wels and then moved into management sales positions at Högl Shoe Fashion GmbH and Giorgio Armani, where he was responsible for Austria and Germany. At Think! he was first responsible for Sales for the international and DACH regions before assuming his role as Deputy Head of Think! Collection Design in March 2021. Christoph Mayer: “I look forward to operationally leading the development of future Think! collections and working closely with Martin Koller on all design developments. In the future, we will continue to inspire our customers with timeless, unique design, high-quality materials and sustainable craftsmanship. We will continue to stand by our motto: ‘slow fashion’.”