Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How to Design Your Own Shoe Line

How to Design Your Own Shoe Line

If you're a fan of the TV and movie series "Sex and the City," you know that there are many occasions during which the four female stars take a backseat to fashion---particularly those erotic stilettos. The work of some of the world's most famous shoe designers are represented in those iconic productions and if you've fantasized about joining them, aim high and pay your dues to get your best foot into this dynamic industry.



    Earn a degree in fashion design. Focus on footwear design. Become an expert at sketching and modeling shoes in 3D, using the computer-assisted software preferred by contemporary shoe companies. Study engineering, industrial design, fine art, anatomy and psychology so you understand why shoppers choose specific shoe styles. Make becoming a trend expert a major goal.


    Explore fashion history to learn about the evolution of shoe style and construction. Learn the ins and outs of shoe-appropriate material to understand how leather, cloth and synthetics are used in the manufacturing process. Take classes in color theory. Become adroit at mixing and matching shoes with garments, accessories and jewelry.


    Use your best shoe designs as the base of your collection. Build your line by working up a portfolio of sketches. Stick to your target niche (evening, business, casual styles) or represent all audiences in your line by filling your portfolio with shoe designs for all occasions.


    Hand-craft sample shoes to prove your modeling skills and show how your renderings convert to actual product. Keep these samples in a safe place for future sales pitches while you focus on choosing your best design work to be displayed in a professional portfolio showcasing your first shoe collection.


    Give your shoe line/collection a name so you can begin to build awareness of your brand immediately. Invent a clever, offbeat name for your shoe collection if you design cutting-edge, high fashion or quirky shoes, or follow the lead of top designers in the profession and name your shoe line after yourself.


    See to the business end of starting your line. Apply for a modest amount of loan funds if your start-up is to operate from your home; ask for more if you intend to open a workshop or store to meet rent, utility, equipment, supply and furniture expenses, as well as paying fees required to obtain business licenses or permits.


    Promote your line often and early to put your ideas and brand in front of buyers. Bring along your handcrafted samples and portfolios when you attend trade shows. Send out press releases via the Internet to announce your new shoe line and drum up interest in a story about you, your line or your new business, with shoe trade media.


    Add to your line at appropriate times of the year, such as when it's fashion week in major cities. Want to see your shoes hit the big time fast? Make a pair of your hottest shoes for your favorite star. Send the shoes to her agent with a note asking her to accept your gift. Browse popular magazines regularly--just in case your gift winds up in one of the issues.

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