From the jagged, snowcovered mountains of Europe and North America, to the flat, simple beauty of the countryside around ECCO's Danish headquarters in Jutland, PerHampus Stålhandske's work has often been shaped by the landscape.
Growing up in a village in northern Sweden, nature was already an integral part of his life, taking on even greater importance after he discovered filmmaking through snowboarding when videoing his friends performing their flips and spins. "I love that filmmaking blends various forms of art into one cohesive piece. Photography, writing, music and fashion are all important for telling the story. A story can look completely different depending on how you perceive it, and what creative decisions you take along the way, and that’s exciting to me," says PerHampus, who for years directed snowboarding films, travelling the world with the athletes in search of untouched powder and the perfect ride.
While he no longer works in the snowboarding industry, his experiences in the mountains have left him with a deep and lasting connection to nature, which comes across in his collaboration with ECCO, a new brand film called 'Perpetual Natural Motion'.
"When you're filming snowboarders, you're out in the wild and you're trying to find a way of capturing that environment. In all the work I've done, including the snowboarding films, I think of the landscape as the canvas," says PerHampus, whose body of work includes a snowboarding documentary that reached the top of the iTunes charts worldwide, and who has spoken in the past of having "a beautiful vision for the world." "I always strive to find locations that bring a lot to the table, but often you don't know what you're going to get until you arrive, and that makes it interesting."
Nature is also at the core of 'Perpetual Natural Motion',
which he says also fulfills the brief of finding a new way of showcasing ECCO's fusion of innovation with tradition and craftsmanship. After being approached by Danish creative agency &Co, PerHampus says he fell in love with the script straight away — "It was multifaceted, original and on top of that a true story that was very cinematic". His research took him to ECCO's development facilities in Denmark, a tannery in the Netherlands, and a factory in Portugal, but it was just as important for him to get in his car and drive around Jutland.
"I was going through farm areas, looking at the countryside, and trying to understand what ECCO is, and what inspires them as shoemakers," says PerHampus, who lives in Stockholm. "I wanted to learn what they do and how they do it, and who they are as people and what they are as a brand. And also to know what inspires them, and that's obviously nature."