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How To Get Into Shoe Design

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Research & Brand Identity

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It is important to do your research before starting your shoe line. You can get starting by finding a niche or gap in the market, something in particular that you can never find or a pain point you may personally have. This is generally where research starts. Once you identify your niche, start creating a mood board or a brand presentation to communicate your vision clearly.

Refining Your Design Ideas

  • 1Create a scrapbook of inspirational ideas. Set your shoe line apart by looking for unique inspiration in the world around you. Cut out phrases or images that catch your eye. You can draw inspiration from art, nature, advertising, or even your own imagination.XResearch source
  • Take note of eye-catching shapes and patterns you may want to incorporate into your designs.
  • For example, the bark of a tree could inspire a fabric for your shoe design.
  • 2Enroll in shoe design classes. Find a class on shoe design at a fashion school or local university to learn more about the shoe industry. Take notes on both the business and artistic sides of shoe design. These classes teach as much about classic designers as they do about manufacturing shoes and running a business.XResearch source
  • Some schools offer intensive classes that can be taken in as little as one year.
  • If the class you want is open only to students of the school, contact the registrar and ask about auditing the class for no credit.
  • If youâre still making up your mind about your career path, major in fields applicable to shoe design but also other disciplines, such as marketing or business management.
  • 3Meet with peers to brainstorm. Show your scrapbook to trusted friends and colleagues to get feedback about your design ideas. They can give you valuable opinions to help refine your designs or spark new ideas.
  • Determine If It’s The Best Career Path For You

    The first step to becoming a shoe designer is ensuring it’s the best career path for you. If you’re passionate about footwear, fashion, materials, functionality and artistry, becoming a shoe designer may be right for you. If you are seeking a consistent and reliable occupation in a traditional career path, you may want to consider something other than shoe design.

    Read more:11 Steps To Take if You’re Unsure of Your Career Path

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    Shoe Lasting And Assembly Process

    With the stitching complete, the upper is ready to be bonded to the outsole. Before the outsole can be attached, the upper must be lasted. Lasting is the operation that gives the shoe its final shape. The plastic, metal, or wood foot form is inserted into the upper. The upper is pulled tight, this sets the shape.

    With the upper tight to the last, the outsole unit can be permanently cemented to the upper. During this process, the shoe travels inside a heat tunnel to dry the glue before the final bonding process. The last steps are QC and packing.

    The process of making shoes is covered in great detail in the book How Shoes are Made. Inside How Shoes are Made you will find chapters on the cold cement process, vulcanized shoemaking processes, stitching, and outsole fabrication.

    Establish A Marketing And Sales Plan

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    With your supply chain in place, the last step before opening your shoe line is establishing your marketing and sales plan.

    Your marketing strategy is what your business will thrive on. Base it on the extensive market research put into your business plan. Forbes has an excellent resource on developing a marketing strategy.

    A sales strategy defines your approach to selling your product. Both plans are essential to revenue generation and should be two of your biggest investments.

    If you dont have experience, consider hiring a marketing and sales consultant through a freelancing site like Upwork.

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    Shoe Design & Sketches

    The next step is to make simple sketches or find image references of your designs to communicate your idea to us. Our team will then interpret your designs into technical drawings during the prototyping stage. A Footwear tech pack is great to showcase illustrated designs and specifications of a shoe design. Our how to make a tech pack guide will help you understand the format and includes excel templates.

    Pursue Various Shoe Designing Internships

    If you’re in college, the summer and winter breaks are great opportunities to complete internships. During an internship, you can make connections, receive professional guidance for your designs and make connections within the design industry. You can still pursue internships if you are not a student, or you might apply for assistant or secretary positions to develop a role within the company and use opportunities to receive feedback on your designs.

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    Manufacturing: How Do You Get A Shoe Made

    With your designs, prototypes, patents, and trademarks in place, its time to secure the manufacturing arm of your shoe line.

    In our connected world, there are a lot of options. But first, here are some questions to answer before you go to production:

    What is the Location of the Manufacturer?

    Where you manufacture is a key part of your brand identity. Ever notice how some companies stamp Made in the USA in large print on the side of their box?

    Be mindful of your choice if you intend to integrate your manufacturing process into your brand.

    Also, if you intend to import your shoes from another country, you could face import taxes based on the country of origin. However, sometimes its cheaper to import the item and pay the fee than to have it manufactured in the U.S.

    Either way, its a calculation you must consider when choosing a manufacturer.

    Does the Manufacturer Have Minimum Order Requirements?

    Most manufacturers require a minimum quantity with each order, and it can cut deeply into your budget if youre not prepared to make a quick turn on revenue.

    Review the requirements from any manufacturer before signing an agreement.

    Can Your Manufacturer Handle Growth?

    Like Afshan, youll want to start small and should research standard shoe sizes customers typically order.

    Ideally, your business will grow, so you want to be sure that your manufacturing arm can handle growth. This is always a work-in-process, but it isnt fun or profitable to pause due to supply issues.

    Introduction: Shoe Sole Molding

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    I worked at a shoe factory that only manufactures lady’s footwear and decided to make myself some shoes. We didn’t have any mens soles, so I decided to make a mold and design my own. I did find a mens size 10 last which made the whole process easier for me.

    A shoe last is the foot shaped plastic part that the upper is formed on and provides the solid backing when the sole is glued to the upper.

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    Formula #: Entry Cabinet + Mirror + Sconce + Tall Vase

    Next up, we have a formula with a bit more drama . While a single basket is enough entry storage for some of us, if you have the space and want to up the storage, consider an entry cabinet. Sure you cant sit on it. BUT its the ultimate catchall.

    These are some great options

    1. Quinn Lacquer Entry Cabinet | 2. Miller 43.5 Wide Buffet Table | 3. Matte Black Standard Rectangle Composite Console Table with Cabinet | 4. Gabi Rattan Entryway Cabinet | 5. Perch Marble Entry Cabinet | 6. Libby Small Cabinet | 7. HEMNES | 8. Live Edge Wood And Gold Metal Sloan Sideboard | 9. OSCURO | 10. Coles | 11. Industrial Storage Dresser | 12. Lap Credenza

    You first want to think about your needs. Are you a drawer person where #7 and #11 would be your go-to? Or would a cabinet with doors and bins inside be a better fit like, well the rest of these? I personally LOVE #3, #5, #9, and #12. Can you tell I have a hard time choosing my favorite of anything?

    1. Inman Venetian Accent Mirror | 2. Brinley Mirror | 3. Corin Rattan Round Wall Mirror | 4. Hub Oval Mirror | 5. Round Decorative Wall Mirror | 6. Woven Mirror Artwork | 7. Beveled Hub Wall Mirror | 8. Hutcheson Arch Mirror | 9. Perch Round Mirror With Shelf | 10. Wall Mirror | 11. MERON | 12. Acacia Wood Mirror | 13. Hub Modern and Contemporary Accent Mirror | 14. Victor Leather Mirror | 15. Rattan Arched Wall Mirror

    Casting Your Foot: Casting

    You will need about 5 cups of your casting material for an average male shoe size . I am going to use Permastone, which is inexpensive and more durable than plaster. If you find yourself short of material, you can add filler in the form of napkins or powders like sawdust.Mix your material according to its instructions and pour it into your alginate mold. Put your bowl and mixer in the sink under running water while you work to minimize the risk of damage to your tools.Tips:1) Tilt your box back and forth to make sure you get it into the toes and crevices.2) Tap the sides of the box hard, shake it against the ground, and continue tilting it until to force air bubbles to the surface. This is satisfying.Remember though, we’re doing this cheap and easy, so your mold probably won’t be perfect and that’s OK.Let your cast sit until you’re sure it’s dry.Note: I am using PermaStone, which is pretty cheap , but you can substitute another material such as rubber if you have the means. I do not recommend plaster, as it takes forever to dry and it is fragile.

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    The Anatomy Of An Entryway: 5 Foolproof Formulas And Our Favorite Shoppable Picks

    Sometimes a post really hits. And while we are ALWAYS pumped, we arent always sure what the exact magic sauce was . One of these was Emilys entryway reveal. We looked at all of the data to come to the conclusion that maybe people are just really into their entryways. Which I actually get. A pretty entryway is psychologically important. Why? Well if its a mess when you leave then you are already bummed/stressed about seeing it when you get back. And when the first area you see when you get home is not the way you want it to look, it really can drag down your mood. Honestly, the world is in too much chaos to not have our homes bring us as much peace as possible, right? So while the boxes I need to put in the recycling dumpster and the large blanket I need to return to my dad are mocking me daily, when its clean, I LOVE walking into my home, seeing my entry and feeling a sense of calm .

    I want that for everyone. So I did the necessary EHD research, realized we have 5 favorite entryway formulas that we repeat ALL THE TIME, and then put together arguably too many shoppable options . So, no matter the size entry you have, you can come home, rip off that mask, take a deep breath, and feel peace because your entry is on point. No more clutter body.

    But before we get into the formulas this is what we think every entry needs:

    • Function
    • Mixed materials
    • Varied levels

    Shoe Design Is A Hard Process To Unpack Thankfully Master Shoemaker And Footwear Design Professor Marcell Mrsan Has Broken Down The Process

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    Where should we start? Surprisingly footwear design is something that everybody knows really well, just like music . We can tell the good ones from the poorly made ones, the aesthetically pleasing ones from the cheap mass produced ones. Footwear is important. It expresses not just our lifestyle, but our life, our business, and our very character. We choose our footwear and they are meant to be for us. It seems so obvious which one is made/designed for us, which pair just would not be a friend of our other pieces in our wardrobe. Besides this love at first sight phenomenon, there is something surprising about footwear just like music. Most of us cant really describe it. Most of us cant even define what makes footwear good or bad. And again: just like music, you can learn it.

    Being a full-time footwear design professor, running my own custom shoe business and consulting with entrepreneurs, I can tell you that your great idea is just one arms-length away to being realized. It is possible. To be fair, it is way more likely that you fail, losing a lot of money if you start your journey unprepared. That is a luxury that we cant afford. I have seen storage units, filled up with great footwear concepts that have been produced but will never be sold.

    Before we start a journey as a footwear designer, read over this golden glossary of footwear design:

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    Top Skills Required To Become A Shoe Designer

    If you are wondering how to become a shoe designer, then here are some top skills that you should possess:

    • Flair for color, texture, and patterns
    • Visualization skills

    What is the salary of a shoe designer?

    Here is a detailed list of salaries you can expect as a shoe designer A footwear designer can earn up to 57,046 per month at Cravatex Limited, 26,423 per month at H& M, and 12,23,998 per year at Bata India.

    What education do you need to be a Shoe Designer?

    In order to become a Shoe Designer, it is quintessential to have a bachelors or an associate degree in footwear or fashion designing. You will be accustomed to pattern making, fashion sketching, textiles, costuming, introduction to computer graphics as well as advanced computer-aided fashion design, etc.

    How do I start designing shoes?

    Follow the below-mentioned steps:

    Dont rush in starting up your company too soon Spend time in various factories Be original

    Who is the richest clothing designer?

    Miuccia Prada with a net worth of $11.1 Billion, Giorgio Armani with a net worth of $9.6 Billion, Ralph Lauren with a net worth of $8.2 Billion, Domenico Dolce with a net worth of $1.7 Billion, Stefano Gabbana with a net worth of $1.7 Billion, Calvin Klein with anet worth of $700 Million is some of the richest clothing designers in the world.

    How much money do Nike shoe designers make?

    The approximate salary of a Nike shoe designer is between $61,632 $106,504.

    What software do shoe designers use?

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    Master The Fundamentals Of Design To Be Successful

    While anyone can try their hand at shoe design, investing your time in learning more about the craft and developing your skill set is the best way to make your mark within the industry. It is important that a shoe designer has a clear understanding of colors, lines, shapes, textures, and movement, and how these concepts interact with the human body in motion.

    While it is important that you have artistic ability, learning to conceptualize your vision is also necessary how your designs will look with many different wardrobes, styles of hair, and makeup. The shoe design process requires lots of research, ideation, and prototyping before you can present a complete collection. Before a shoe designer can begin creating their designs they must first ask themselves a few basic questions:

    • Who are you designing for?
    • What do they need?
    • Where will your designs be worn?

    Once you have the answer to these questions, you can begin to execute your designs. While the design process may vary depending on your customer and your ultimate vision, this basic process is one that should be followed.

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    Hidden Doorway Shoe Storage Cabinet

    For anyone who is short on space in their home yet is desperate to eliminate clutter, youll love this hidden doorway shoe storage. Youll save so much space with this project, which is easy to install onto almost any doorway. As long as you have a few inches of depth on the other side of the door, youll have no issue adding this handy storage cabinet into your wardrobe or bedroom. Its ideal for shoes but could also be used to store belts and other accessories you use every day. The project uses simple wooden boards, and you can paint them any color you like to add a little more personality to the project.

    How Do I Become A Sportswear Designer

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    For the US athletes, it was a fantasy realised as they mounted the podium to collect their gold medals at the 2012 Olympics. It was also the proudest moment for one Englishman from north London. Matthew Treasarden, 42, helped design the Nike jackets donned by the indoor teams when they received their awards. “To watch them wearing the fruit of my labours as they achieved their dream, and to feel part of moment, was fabulous,” he says.

    The sober grey of the garment baffled many Americans, but the point of them was the hyper-reflective shell coating which is intended to glow in the spotlights and convey the luminosity of America’s sporting talent. Undoubtedly, too, thought had been given to the fact that their inoffensive appearance made them adaptable as streetwear for any fans with $450 to spare.

    “The usual red and white was replaced with a redcurrant shirt with commemorative graphics and it was amazing to see a stadium full of fans and the footballers in our creation saying goodbye to the stadium after nearly a century.”

    Treasarden was steered into sportwear design by his twin loves of art and athletics. “As soon as I was physically able to hold a pencil I began drawing,” he says. “As I got older I did competition track and field to a reasonably high standard.”

    “People either loved it or hated it and I quickly learned that opinions run strong and deep when it comes to team kits, which makes the job as nerve racking as it is thrilling.”

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