Having been in the footwear industry for quite a few years now, and having endless conversations with other designers about how awesome our chosen career paths are, I felt it only right to compile a short list of some of the dopest things about being in this industry.
So here you go, these are ‘Five of the Best Things About Being A Footwear Designer’ –
Ok, so granted, unless you’re extremely lucky, chances are the samples won’t actually fit you. But, just being able to have a tangible version of your previously 2D sketch/rendering is still one of the coolest aspects of being a product designer in general. As frustrating as it can be when a sample comes back and looks like this guy made it, when it comes back and the factory just straight up nailed it, you get filled with a special level of relief, pride and aggressive posturing.
So you’re probably not going to be paid, and aside from the hazing and coffee runs, unlike many other fields, a footwear design intern does have the possibility to actually have their designs made and commercialised. Thats worth its weight in gold in the early stages of your career.
So the above picture was me during my last footwear development trip to China. As busy as we were, we still found time to go out and explore, something I try to do on every trip I take that I’m not paying for myself. As you can see, I’m not in a factory or meeting room, I’m at the top of Wu-Tong mountain. The best part? Not matter what you’re doing, its totally viable. You’re a designer and you need to feel inspired…(that being said, be careful with how far you push that angle).
It had to be said. Excuse the sexism here, I know there are some lovely, lovely women that read and follow this site, but this particular point is (mostly) for the male footwear designers. There isn’t really much more you can tell a women, aside from perhaps being a chocolate engineer or something, that will get them as excited as when you tell them that you design shoes. Consider the ice broken, my friend.
Really want to know the number one best thing about being a footwear designer? It happens to be the fact that you design footwear…go figure. The chances of you making it in this industry were small, like i’ve said before, there are more pro athletes than pro shoe designers, but you made it. Congrats, you have the coolest job in the world.
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