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The Life of a Shoe Designer

While shoe designing is fun and creative, there’s a lot that goes into the job description to ensure you’re creating quality footwear.

Shoe designers aren’t only responsible for drawing up the footwear designs, but they also create the layouts, models, and depictions of what the shoe will eventually look like.

A shoe designer at work

Designers need to have a sense of style, but they also need to be conscious of comfort, material efficiency, and structural integrity when constructing shoes.

Generally, a shoe designer works as part of a team that is responsible for concept creation, design research, design rendering, and assessing new textile processing technologies.

Shoe Designer Job Description

The art of shoe designing is, but there’s a lot of work that goes into constructing footwear everyone wants to buy.

Shoe designers develop several types of shoes, but some may specialize in one or a few types, whether it’s boots, dress shoes, sandals, heels, and so on. Shoe designers may also specialize in footwear for a specific gender or age.

Just like other fashion industry professionals, shoe designers must be aware of current fashion trends. In addition, they must also be able to adapt to the ever changing shopping habits, and mentality of consumers.

#1. Conceptual Designs

Designers can work alone, or they can trade concepts and ideas with a small team.

Factors that come into play during the planning and creating process include shoe design aesthetics, comfort, support, safety, practicality, and durability.

#2. Visual Plan & Sketches

After going through some conceptual designs, a shoe designer will need to create a visual plan. This includes several sketches of the design(s) that are in mind.

The designer will draw more detailed designs after he has perfected his idea through his quick sketches.

The detailed designs are typically created with traditional art supplies, pencils, and markers. Modern technology has also allowed many in the fashion design industry to use computer design software to draw up their creations.

#3. Patterns & Materials

Once a design has been completed, the designer will need to have a pattern made of whatever material they’re using. Some designers do this process on their own, or they use the help of a patternmaker.

#4. Footwear Prototype

After the pattern has been completed, a prototype is made.

If the shoe prototype is up to the designer’s standards, approved by the employer or client that it’s being made for, it’ll be mass produced and marketed to the public.

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