Would you like to have your own shoes collection?
You would like to create something new and different, something exclusive for an specific world market but….you don’t know how do it. Don’t worry I’ll give you the keys for it.

I’m sure that after over of 30 years of experience in design and development of shoes, I’ll can to help you

If anything characterizes the fashion world and shoes, it’s his evolution and constant changes, that’s why we all have to adapt to new needs.

What does have changed in the footwear world?

  • New and abundant supply on the world market that didn’t exist 30 years ago.
  • This increase in supply offered it happened for two reasons:
    • Originally by cheaper manpower in emerging countries.
  • Before, most people bought shoes for basic need. People didn’t have so much options to choose as nowadays.
  • Currently, we inform ourselves, we compare and we believe.. .brands have to listen to us and interact with their target market.

In this context, it’s wrong making senseless collections and proposals just because there are so much ideas in the internet:

  • You’ll spend absurdly your money, time and resources
  • It will increase your manufacturing costs without any result .
  • You’ll lose competitiveness and you’ll confuse to customer.
  • Your shoes will have not any own identified style .
  • And… you don’t believe that if you expand your collection, you’re going to increase sales. It’s better little and select.
  • You must to know that 80% of total sales it’s achieved with 20% of the collection

If you make shoes without their own identity, for everyone and nobody, you’ll be one among many You’ll be tinking that with so many changes and supply in the world market, to achieve being innovative in this sector, get out of hands… and to who doesn’t…!!!
But you tinking that it’s possible. I’m here to dispel those little snags that could arise.

The objective of this post is
Hit the bull’s eye

These are the 5 keys you must to follow to achieve it.

To design, develop and produce your own shoes collection

1.- INITIAL IDEA

Obviously, any project starts from an idea and though this is something obvious, it could be a bit complex.
That’s why, it’s needed to follow some guidelines which I’m going to explain to you.

En el boceto del zapato se trata de trazar a grandes rasgos la idea que has seleccionado, definiendo volúmenes, estilo, estructura y concepto.

Look for your market niche

n the current circumstances, my preference are small market niches “underserved” which are demanding an exclusive and different product. Thus, you not only provide something that satisfied a latent need, but you avoid competition of the other generic products usually “low cost”.

We already know that market segmentation could be complex and also could be analysed a wide range of criteria, (geographical, demographic, socio-economic, cultural, religious, etc…) In our case, I’ll tell you what I consider easier and direct whether you don’t want doing never-ending analysis and market studies.

Map out your target according his LifeStyle

This is a very important criteria as well as includes some other, which makes market segmentation quite easier.
Note that RRSS encourage and facilitate the creation of social groups.
These groups, due to their interaction through RRSS have often many things in common regarding their consumption habits and needs.
In my opinion, whether you know the LifeStyle of your Target, you already have a great advantage.
However, you also can include into your target a classification according geographical criteria, age range or socio-economic level. Some times, even the male or female gender criteria is included into the characteristic of group.

It Think about a product with differential value

But… you don’t look for the “kind of Holy Grail” or “squaring of the circle”… IT DOESN’T EXIST
Besides, people in general, doesn’t look for anything complex and sofisticated, but some specific thing with which they identify themselves and their need and/or desire to be satisfied.

It Think about a different product

Defining features and values which make your shoes something different to anything else.
It may be confort, trendy, exclusive, personalized, ecological, sustainable, custom-made, etc…

Generate experiences

More than selling a product, you must generate experiencies associated with it
A shoes are something tangible and material but the fact to possess and using them, it must to generate emotions and feelings. It should also help you earn confidence and strong links with your customers.

Define yourself and be unique

Don’t attempt to emulate how or what some others are doing, you try to reach your target and offer what they want and they don’t have. The most important thing is be innovative and dare to be yourself.

2.- SKETCH AND DESIGN

In the sketch we trace in general terms the selected idea, defining volumes, style, structure and concept.

In this way, you already can going to design in detail and specifying materials, accessories and technical sheet which allows to plan step by step the further development and manufacturing process.

This phase of design is a very important thing and that’s why is advisable make it with a good professional because of this phase will depend largely the final results.

In design specifications you should consider several and important things that I’ll explain to you.

En el boceto del zapato se trata de trazar a grandes rasgos la idea que has seleccionado, definiendo volúmenes, estilo, estructura y concepto.
Cuanto más detallada sea la ficha técnica, menos posibilidad de errores en la fabricación

Type of shoe and construction

Firstly, to specify the type of shoe and how it’s going to manufacture in order that choose the right materials.

Itsn’t the same make a sandal, a boot, a mocassin or nautic shoe, etc…for men or women, with or without lining, etc…

It also keeping in mind what kind of work are you going to make over shoe, seams, stitches, embroideries, perforated pieces, rivets, eyelets, etc…

It also very important thing how is it going to manufacture, blake, strobel, vulcanized, goodyear welt, ideal, inyected, opanka, etc…

According to this previously mentioned, type and features of materials, may be different and you should keep in mind.

Materials and Accessories

Secondly, you must to specify every materials, accessories and suppliers. The most suitable according type of shoes you want making, ( leather, fabrics, insoles, soles, heels, buckles, trims, etc….) according three criteria:

  • Characteristiques (colors, textures, size, etc…)
  • Pricing.
  • Availability, Time of delivery, Minimum order

Technical sheet

Well…you already have your shoes graphically defined regarding to design and materials but lacking technical specifications.
For this, we’re depending of research and selection of such materials and now you must to specify in the technical sheet of design:

  • Material and color of every pieces
  • Last size and reference
  • Reference and color of sole
  • Reference and color of stitches
  • Detail of assembly of every pieces
  • Reference and detail of different accesories and trims (buckles, embroideries, rivets, shoelaces, elastics pieces, perforated, etc…)
  • Reference of tip and counter
  • Finished

The more detailed the technical sheet is, less possibility of errors in manufacturing. (Even then, we’ll do an exhaustive follow up and control of development phase).

Modelling and Pattern

It’s a technical phase which must be made to perfection and keeping in mind every details previously mentioned, (Design, Type of shoe, Construction and assembly and Materials).
It’s also needed to specify in the pattern cutting every details about every piece.
This is without any doubt a task which should be done by a technical-professional.

3.- LASTS AND SOLES

Among keys that you must keep in mind developing any shoes project, deserves greater attention LASTS AND SOLES because they both are fundamental part of shoe structure.

By these means either of the two could goalscoring a good idea and a good design.

Entre las claves que debes tener en cuenta en el desarrollo de un proyecto de zapatos, merecen especial atención las HORMAS y SUELAS, pues son parte fundamental de la estructura del zapato.

The Last

It’s something fundamental..!! The last is the first element that it’ll determine aesthetics and confort of any shoe.
How many times did you hear claims and complaints about shoes that harm the foot…?? Or also that somebody like a shoes when look them however DON’T LIKE THEM when put them on…?? Many times….!!!!
So…it’s because of a wrong last…!! Or I should say who has made it
A right and perfect last must have two fundamental things:

  • Aesthetics according to style of shoe.
  • Perfect adjustment measures.

The Sole

Whether the last determines the hollow of the foot, the sole supports the foot, therefore, it has great influence for aesthetics as well as confort over all. That’s why, it must have several fundamental characteristiques:

  • Lightness
  • Flexibility
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Non-slipping
  • Aesthetics

4.- RESEARCH OF MATERIALS

Once the process is defined and achieved from the start, idea—sketch—design—last—sole, now you’re in the research for needed and suitable materials to make your shoes.

Búsqueda de Materiales. Una vez definido y concretado el proceso desde el inicio, idea—boceto—diseño—hormas— suelas, ahora estás en la fase de buscar los materiales necesarios y adecuados para desarrollar tus zapatos.

Usually, you’ll have several options of different materials and suppliers.
You’ll must to choose the more appropriate of them according your shoes project and that’s why I’ll give you some guidelines.

  • You never choose only one option (It could arises any unforessen)-
  • Compare prices before order.
  • Ask about availability, time to delivery and minimum order
  • To consult the state of your order at all times.
  • Never make any order without every specifications about the article (color, size, finished, thickness, etc…).
  • Keep in mind the type of shoe and manufacturing. (May happen that within the same article there are different thickness, sizes, finished, textures, etc…) You’ll must to choose the more appropriate.

5.- DEVELOPMENT

Although modelling and pattern take part of development (in studio) I now turn to this development phase as what’s done in external way (out studio) at the factories.

Desarrollo. Aunque el Ajuste y Patronaje forman también parte del desarrollo (interno), me referiré a esta fase de Desarrollo cómo el que se hace de forma externa en las fábricas.

It’s a very important phase because though in design and technical sheet have been specified every detail about materials, accessories, finished, etc…,may arise snags and unforessen which must be resolved by the designer.

The designer knows what he wants, the employee just imagine it.

How many times did you hear about a prototype shipped to factory for copy it exactly and in the end the result has been not satisfactory…??? Many times…!!!
This can give you some idea about the significance to follow up and control of samples in the factory.

In this phase there are four different process:

  • Cut of the upper pieces.
  • Preparation of upper pieces, assembled and sew of pieces (special attention).
  • Preparation of upper shoe and assembled process over last (special attention).
  • Final finished of shoes (great care).

You already are in the final phase, now you must to analyze the result and decide whether it’s OK or may be needed to change or rectify any detail.

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