The target audience for the Explore is the "Active Family." A younger consumer group than the average KEEN fan, the Active Family woman seeks comfort, style, performance durability and everyday crossover.
The Explore collection was launched for the FW19 season and is available globally. The line includes mid and low waterproof and vented styles with an insulated option planned. Working in a small team, I played a role in the upper and outsole design, materials selection, color blocking and color direction and development follow through.
Working collaboratively with the Outdoor Performance design director, we came up with variations of the Men's and Women's Explore mid, low, mid waterproof and low waterproof. The designs shared similar elements in tooling and upper design cues.
For this project, I wanted to marry traditional KEEN aesthetic and materials with more contemporary design cues and sporty materials. Not intended to be a departure from the brand, but a slight evolution of the current design language.
For this project I travelled with the design and development team to Thailand and China to facilitate design revisions and ensure samples would deliver on time.
Looking to incorporate existing KEEN design language into the Explore program, I borrowed cues from the Women's Whisper sandal, using a lattice or "fingers" on the quarter to emulate the straps on
Images via KEEN
Image via KEEN
Intended to invite new fans to the brand, the Explore brief called for a versatile, casual, women's-specific hiker that has trail clout without compromising on aesthetic that delivers at an entry-level price point. Building off of the popular Terradora, the Explore utilizes a modified Terradora last and female-specific fit. The Explore line is now a major component of the hike category and opens the brand to a younger demographic.
OTTO AUREK STEFAN