Shoe Designing



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Hi,

I have some shoe designs that I would like to get made up for me. Do you know who might be able to do this? And if you do, could you please send me details.

Thank you

G.S. - 7 Jul 2003

Dear Grace,

You can always ask some of the medium-sized shoe companies, who make their own shoes. I mentioned a few in my answer to Allison on August 26, 2001 and you can get their current contact information by searching at Google or Yahoo!.

Many shoe companies do work for other companies' labels. So, if you are interested in starting your own line of shoes, this is the way to start out.

Note that most of these businesses have busy times and not-so-busy times during the year. They are usually more interested in small and odd jobs, when they are not very busy. Expect to pay a premium unless you are ordering many pairs of the same design.

Large shoe retailers also do work for others. For example, Maxwell Shoe Company in Massachusetts, U.S.A. has their own popular labels (including Mootsies Tootsies and Sam & Libby), but produces shoes for other companies (including Anne Klein and Joan & David) as well.

If and when you get to the point in placing very large orders, then it might be more economical to deal directly with manufacturer's overseas (especially in Italy, Spain, Brazil and China). However, there are many pitfalls (especially for those who are inexperienced).

Also, see my Custom Made High Heel Shoes web page.

J.J. - August 3, 2003


jj, hi.

my name is XXXXXXX. i'm only 15, but i know that i want to be a shoe designer. i dont want to design high heels though... i'm more of a sneaker person. i was looking at the parson's (in nyc) summer program for pre college students, and i wanted to know if you think their fashion design course would be of any help to me, whether it be just for experience or if it would actually help me get into that college when i am older. i read on your site that you would be surprised if there were 1000 shoe designers (or something like that. cant find it now.) why is that? also, i was looking at this book at borders, called "agents of change", its about how the DC shoe company became this whole big company from such a small start. on one of the pages where there is a picture of shoe designs on paper, i saw this box of "prismacolor markers". my sister, who interned at nautica, said they also use those markers in coloring their designs. do you have any idea what i'm talking about? and if you do, could you explain to me what makes these markers so special? i know you already told all those other people advice on how to become a shoe designer, but do you have any extra advice on SNEAKER design? thanks so much for your time,

XXXXXXX - 7 Jul 2003

<< i was looking at the parson's (in nyc) summer program for pre college students, and i wanted to know if you think their fashion design course would be of any help to me, whether it be just for experience or if it would actually help me get into that college when i am older. >>

Yes, having anything positive to mention on your college entrance applications and/or interviews would be a plus. Also, it could be fun.



<< i read on your site that you would be surprised if there were 1000 shoe designers (or something like that. cant find it now.) why is that? >>

I meant 1000 "professional" shoe designers, who can make a living (money-wise) doing it. The number was based on all information about shoes that I have come across. If you discover there are more than a 1000, then let me know.



<< i saw this box of "prismacolor markers". my sister, who interned at nautica, said they also use those markers in coloring their designs. do you have any idea what i'm talking about? and if you do, could you explain to me what makes these markers so special? >>

I am not exactly sure what you talking about. If your question about "prismacolor markers" concerns what to draw your designs with, it is possible to draw using any kind of drawing instrument. Colored markers are one type and easy to use. However, you could use colored crayons, inks, pastels and pencils. You could even paint your design using water colors and even, acrylic and oil paints.

Visit a few art supplies stores and check out all of the different drawing instruments and varieties of paper that are available. Obviously, better materials can help make drawings look better. However, note that PC designing software can enable one to use more (sometimes, unlimited) shades of color than any physical drawing instrument.

J.J. - August 3, 2003


Sounds like you really know your stuff!

Do you know about the Magic Show in Las Vegas? Itís supposed to be the biggest shoe show. Do you know the dates and the difference between that one and the WSA?

Thank you,

Lisa - 1 Oct 2003

I assume that you are referring to the trade show conducted by MAGIC (formerly Men's Apparel Guild in California). The show is big because it includes all apparel and accessories (not just shoes) for men, women and children.

The WSA (World Shoe Association) show is for shoes only and is the biggest "shoe" show that I know of. However, this does not mean that the WSA show is better than the MAGIC show. The better show really depends on who the exhibitors will be and what they will have to offer.

The next WSA show in Las Vegas is scheduled for Februaru 10-13, 2004. The next MAGIC show in Las Vegas is scheduled for Febuary 23-26, 2004. Click here for MAGIC's website MAGIC Online.

Regards,

J.J. - October 12, 2003


My name is Sarah XXXXXX and I just read the question and response to the young boy who asked about being a shoe designer. That is really, really what I want to do. I want to design shoes. I am a senior in college, a liberal arts college in XXXXX XXXXXX. And although it isn't specifically a fashion or art college, I am majoring in Illustration there, and pursuing a Marketing minor as well. It's destined for me to be a designer, of any sort. I was wondering if you can tell me, or refer me to a place where I can do an internship dealing with shoes or fashion. I am trying so hard to find things, but either I am not having much luck, or there just aren't many internships dealing with design out there. I kinda think the first one holds true more. I would really appreciate any advice or direction you can help me with. Thank you so so much for your time.

Sincerely,
S.S. - 23 Oct 2003

Sarah,

There are numerous internships dealing with design out there, but I do not know if any are near you. Many college graduates have to relocate to get their first job.

It is similar to going to college away from home. So, start considering that possibility now. Also, unless you are wealthy, you may have to settle for a room, studio, or share an apartment or house in the beginning.

First, get the most out of the job or career placement office at your college.

Second, check the Help Wanted ads in the Sunday editions of your local newspaper and the New York Times (that may be available at your local public library), which usually contains jobs postings in the tri-state (Connecticut-New Jersey-New York) area.

Third, there are a lot of good search engines for job seekers. (Search using keywords like footwear shoe designer) Here are some good fashion search engines. (Just click on the links that I have set up here.)

http://www.fashion.net/ NOTE: This one has a section just for internships and currently has numerous job openings. Click on the job that you interested in to get more details.

http://www.fashion-job.com/
http://www.fashioncareercenter.com/

http://www.planetpersonnel.com/ NOTE: This one lists fashion and footwear jobs in the United Kingdom
http://www.topfashionjobs.com/ NOTE: This one lists fashion and footwear jobs in the United Kingdom

Also, here are some good general job search engines, where you can also search for designer jobs:

http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/
http://www.monster.com/
http://www.careerbuilder.com/
http://www.vault.com/

Finally, job postings change frequently. Jobs openings are filled and new ones posted on almost a daily basis. So, be sure to check them every week or so.

Regards,

J.J. Leganeur - October 29, 2003


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This page was last edited on October 29, 2003.
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