Footwear designer

 28 February 2011

Footwear designers create ideas and designs for new shoes and other footwear. They have to keep up to date with current styles and fashion trends. In order to be successful, they also have to be able to anticipate what will be popular in forthcoming seasons.

The Clog and Shoe Workshop in Scotland makes hand-made clogs from wood and leather.
The Clog and Shoe Workshop in Scotland makes hand-made clogs from wood and leather.

Designers have to research footwear launched by other designers and fashion houses. This may include studying and attending fashion shows in London or Paris. Footwear designers may have to work closely with manufacturers. In order to create a new item of footwear, they will have to:

  • Come up with an original design concept
  • Make rough drawings by hand. Think about the different colours and fabrics to match a design
  • Make a last - a model of the shoe and its heel - from these drawings
  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) programs 
  • Present ideas and designs, formally or informally. This can be to either colleagues or clients.
  • Finalise the approved design for production.

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