Footwear design is a particular category of accessory and apparel design that deals primarily with the conception, design and manufacture of specific types of footwear. A shoe designer must stay up to date with the fashion and design aesthetic trends prevalent in the fashion and footwear industry and use his extensive knowledge to integrate those into functional footwear. Shoes, as a commodity, will always remain in demand, and the market for designer shoes is obviously growing, making this a particularly promising career opportunity.
Responsibilities of a footwear designer
A few of the basic everyday responsibilities of a shoe designer include:
- Working on ideas and conceptualisation of shoe design
- Sketching rough drafts for final shoe creation using the CAD software
- Working closely with retailers, accessory designers and fashion designers to predict future trends and collections.
- Cross-checking the quality and durability of the shoes
- Maintaining a strong communication line with customers and the supply chain team
- Developing strategies for season-wise release of products
Different job roles of a footwear designer
When it comes down to accessories, shoes have always been an integral part of fashion. With the shoe market growing at a constant rate, the demand for professional shoe designers will always be on the rise in the forthcoming days. Besides, India is also seeing a strong emergence of more footwear industries, and hence the demand for shoe designers is steadily increasing, leading to strong demand for young aspirants. Here are some of the leading job profiles for footwear designers:
- Footwear developer
- Retail store manager
- Footwear technician
- Quality analyst
- Production manager
- Product designer
Some of the top-notch companies that hire footwear designers are:
- Lee Cooper
Skills that make a footwear designer stand out
Creative thinking: Creative thinking encourages employee collaboration and fosters teamwork. Creativity is an essential skill for a shoe designer who wants to succeed in the industry. A creative visual arts aptitude is absolutely critical to becoming a shoe designer. Furthermore, creativity and imagination also fuel the urge to transform materials into pieces of fine craftsmanship.
Pattern: An in-depth understanding of how pattern and colour affects and impacts the buying decision of an average customer is essential in the field of footwear design. With pattern and cutting being a powerful element in designing shoes the correct shape can be used for attracting attention and highlighting elements, affecting the buying decision of the final customer. In addition, a shoe designer must understand that not every pattern and colour will go together and with all seasons, trends, patterns or styles.
Technical proficiency: Shoe designers often use 3D modelling software to graphically represent the final look of shoes. Thus, understanding and gaining the basic knowledge of how technology is used in design can help shoe designers succeed in the initial days of their careers.
Measurement skills: Shoe designers must possess a strong ability to use measuring instruments such as rulers and scales. It is crucial to make sure that all the measurements are correct as even a small mistake can ruin the entire shoe and make it useless.
Some of the top online courses in footwear designing are:
- B.Des in Footwear Design and Production by Embibe
- ECCO and Production of Shoes by Coursera
- Adobe Photoshop CC Professional Course by Udemy
- Sneakers Design in Illustrator by Udemy
- Learn Footwear Design from Scratch by Udemy
Shoe designers have to work from scratch, beginning from conception to the final process of shoemaking. They utilise the latest designs and knowledge of trends, concepts, patterns and materials in their line of work. And of course, there are a number of good course options available in our country - offering you the perfect place to start.