Kerstin Lange - Head of Inside Sales for FIDLOCK components & Key Account Manager
Your role at FIDLOCK (FW):
Head of Inside Sales of FIDLOCK components & Key Account Manager i. a. of the footwear products
Why join the FW team?
It somehow happened automatically. I was the contact person at FIDLOCK for the first big customers who came up with the idea to use the perks of our mechanical-magnetic fasteners for sneakers. One thing led to another and so I also started visiting fairs and trade shows dedicated to footwear and apparel.
Over time, footwear established itself as a more dominant application area for our fastening solutions. Therefore, we also wanted to focus more on the sector shoes and the need for a dedicated team was becoming apparent. So, Philip Klein and I started the footwear team, and in the meantime, we exhibit our own footwear products at well-known fairs.
How did it feel to start and work a specified team/task force?
Very exciting – this was a completely new customer group for FIDLOCK. They have their own world and the requirements differ from what we are used to of previous customer groups, such as helmet or bag manufacturers.
The diversity of the area and the stronger influence of fashion was and still is very interesting to me.
What would you say is the biggest difference between FIDLOCK FW and our other fields and fasteners?
As mentioned, fashion has a more dominant role in this area. Therefore, our fasteners don't only have to feature our tried and tested FIDLOCK technology but also need to meet the trends in the different footwear sectors.
This focus created new opportunities in the world of high fashion. Many of our fasteners could already be seen on international catwalks.
What do you especially love about FW?
First – everyone needs shoes and everyone wears them. Therefore, creating an “aha” moment with our fasteners, each time users put on or take off shoes, is an even greater experience.
Furthermore, I generally like the topics footwear and fashion and, therefore, it is a lot of fun to help shape this area at FIDLOCK.
What do you focus on most for the development/sales & service of footwear fasteners?
In the footwear and fashion sector, especially close coordination with our customers is the key:
For one thing, the schedules generally differ from other application areas and for another, we want to give them the best support to make full use of the potential of our fasteners. We tightly collaborate with our customers to find the best solution in functionality and appearance.
Which fastener is currently your favorite for footwear and why?
Here I would like to name two fasteners:
The HOOK FW 20 tanka sewable X3 – the button on this fastener allows for infinitely variable adjustment which gives wearers great liberty in quickly adjusting the shoe’s tightness.
The V-BUCKLE 20 – this buckle wasn't initially designed for footwear applications. However, the potential for shoes is great. The larger V-BUCKLE 25 had already been used for footwear and fashion, where the special appearance greatly contributes to its popularity. The slimmer 20 mm version allows for even more possibilities, considering the special shape and requirements of shoes.
What would you say is the strongest argument to use FIDLOCK for footwear?
… the single-handed use and the automatic closure – simply because we often put on shoes in a hurry and we need them daily!