Accessory Design

The specialization is an option within the curriculum of Fashion, Textile and Accessory Design.

A high quality Accessory Design education

Accessory design finds itself in the crossroads of different design practices – it has a common thread with fashion and textile design but also product design and materials science. The curriculum concentrates on the design and technologies of bags, footwear, gloves, headwear etc, using sustainable means and innovation. The curriculum also has bookbinding projects, which give necessary skills for designing and creating exclusive small products, artefacts and other art projects. New skills and technologies are acquired working with technologies which use leather, wood, metal, textile and other materials but experimenting is done also with biomass, 3d plastics, silicone, recycled plastic and so on.

An education with a long history

The Estonian Art Academy Accessory and Bookbinding department saw its beginnings in 1917, in a previous incarnation of the university – the Tallinn City Industry and Art School, where an accessory and cardboard workshop was opened. Its director Eduard Taska was educated in Paris, Munich and Saint-Petersburg. The academy’s applied art fields were moved under the design faculty which brought many changes to the curriculum.

How does learning take place?

The department prioritizes an applicable broad-based approach and its unique niche. Integration of new technologies to the studies is valued as well as developing collaborations with the industry and integrating developments in sustainability to the curriculum. All while finding a balance between the technical and handicraft skills. Lastly developing conceptual and critical thinking in the students and broadening an international network is integral.

Accessory Design is a rapidly changing field – developments in technology and the UN’s sustainable development directives demand ever-innovative solutions for the industry. Experts in the field must renew their skills and knowledge constantly.

Specialization in the field is supported by traditional technologies along with contemporary methods and lectures. Tools of design are also acquired together with students from product, fashion and textile design. The objective of the department for the graduate student is the ability to adapt to the changing work market, and for the student to value and apply a scientific-based approach in their future career.

In the general curricula the students will acquire knowledge which support an artist/designer’s creativity and obtain skills required for working independently, in a team or collaborating with a client. The specialized studies concentrate on developing a unique and personal design language of the student and supporting the growth and development for creativity and craftsmanship skills with international potential. During the studies, skills are acquired for the formulation and solving of problems and creating a field of meaning to the creations. Furthermore, the realization of ideas by digital and hands-on approaches are encouraged through creative research supported by science, cultural and design theories.

Connecting entrepreneurship

We invite and visit others! Entrepreneurship is connected through practical courses and workhops and with visits to companies. This way students will get a sense of the production cycles in Estonia and abroad. The department collaborates on projects with businesses which belong to the field of accesories, materials (material development and science) and product design. Recent projects include creating accessories for fashion brands (Ivo Nikkolo, KÄT, KIRA), but also product design (An addible accessory design for the Tuul e-bike, MagneticMRO plane accessory). We collaborate with and invite internationally recognized brands and businesses. Projects and workshops have been held by designers and representatives of ECCO, Camper and adidas. 

Bachelor’s level curriculum

The BA level consists of specialized, general, elective and free-choice courses. During specialized courses base technologies are acquired which are solidified through working on projects like footwear design, novelty-collection and others. Specialized courses cover traditional handicraft skills (like upholstery technologies) but also virtual design tools (creating a collection in Clo3d), which allows the students to find their own place in the fascinating world of accessory design. From creating small products to working as a designer in a big name brand. Courses are led by industry professionals from Estonia and abroad. Through the studies enrichment trips abroad are organized, where students get familiarized with international accessory design trends and technologies (e.g the Lineapelle fair in Italy) and education (visiting guest universities), exhibitions and the cultural and art landscapes at large. The Bachelor’s studies is 3 years which culminate in the creation of an author’s collection and a portfolio.

Future prospects

The Accessory Design course enables one to work as a designer, start a career as an independent manufacturer or apply oneself to a related field like product design, trend analysis, buying, color and/or material design (sustainability and the development of new materials). The graduates will be skillful, creative, independent and ambitious designers. The field supports the development of a personal design philosophy and gives the graduate an international competitive edge. Thanks to good preparation, some of our graduates work with world recognized brands such as adidas, Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Trussardi and Jil Sander. Many graduates lead their own personal brands: Stella Soomlais stuudio, Mokoko, Piret Loog, Kadri Kruus, Kuula+Jylhä, Riina Õung, Ikigi and many others. 

News and events

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Footwear Exhibition “Clog—Wooden Soled Sandal” Workshop

Exhibition of the fall semester’s one-week workshop “Clog—wooden soled sandals” by the Department of Accessory and Bookbinding, Estonian Academy of Arts. The students made their unique footwear out of recycled textiles and industrial leftovers or scrap materials. Participants: Angela Aavik, Helina Raud, Hanna Eliise Lahe, Jürgen Sinnep, Katarina Nemcova, Liis Tisler, Marie Willfort, ...

Lauren Kacher’s Open Lecture “Metareality”

EKA Design Faculty, Open Lecture Lauren Kacher. METAREALITY: Creating Identity in Digital, Augmented, and Physical Spaces  EKA assembly hall A-101, 06.10 Thursday, 6pm The open lecture is in english Fashion is in the midst of a revolution. From analogue to digitally-infused, we will soon be creating interoperable identities across three spaces; the physical, augmented, and digital metaverse. ...
Dina Aller foto Kelian Luisk

The Winner of the Best Accessory Design Student 2022 Award is Dina Aller

Dina Aller (MA) is awarded the Best Accessory Design Student Award by the Department of Accessory Design of the Estonian Academy of Arts. The Department of Accessory Design acknowledges Dina's commitment to professional studies and to her outstanding creative work. In addition, participation in several competitions such as the Global Footwear Awards, InMyShoes Milan, Scripta Manent, Box Your ...
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Adrianus Kundert open lectur: New Crafts

Adrianus Kundert is a Dutch designer working on products and spatial design and is an enthusiastic basketry maker. Playfulness, experimentation and a delicate application of both colors and materials characterize his design language. His hands-on working method vouches for groundbreaking projects – materialized ideas twisting techniques into new crafts. Adrianus: ”The projects I especially ...
Elav Hõbe näitus_Kaileen Palmsaar foto_Riina Varol

EKA designers at World Design Capital Valencia 2022 exhibition

The exhibition of Estonian sustainable design "Second Chance", organized by the Estonian Association of Designers and the Estonian Academy of Arts, will be opened in Palacio de Colomina in Valencia, on May 9th, featuring innovative sustainable design solutions from more than 20 Estonian designers. The curator of the exhibition is the President of the Estonian Association of Designers, Ilona ...
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Open lecture: Marie Absolonova

Join us this Wednesday, 31.march at 11 am to hear a designer’s Marie Absolonova’s journey. Lecture is held in english and with registration:  Marie Absolonova is a footwear designer from Czech republic. She has entered the world of footwear fifteen years ago at high school, where she studied design and shoemaking. Since then, she has developed unique and ...

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