Behind the Design: SS18 Tyndaris Knitted Collection


February 2017 was the first time i visited Dubai, it was a city I was always intrigued by from afar and during my trip I wanted to do as much as I could to soak it all in. If you know anything about Dubai one of the first thing that comes to mind is the heat.

When I started to think about the design of the OB spring/summer 2018 season while I was 4 wheeling in the Dubai desert I started think about performance and luxury fused as one. Being that our sneakers are all handmade in NYC and when most people hear handmade there first thought is usually “Leather” I wanted to go about this collection a little differently.
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My design background started in performance working for New Balance, Adidas and even doing some work for Nike. Sports and performance has always been in my DNA but I also love style and high fashion.


Behind the Design-all sketches


The knitted upper aka fly knit, a name that Nike coined for this process has become popular with all the top performance brands (under different names) and recently has trickled into the mid tear casual footwear markets. Due the to nature of the manufacturing process of knitted uppers and the high quantity’s that are required from factories Its difficult for smaller brands to incorporate a process like this into there shoes. So by using my supplier relationships of over 10 years I was able to introduce this technique into my collection of handmade luxury sneakers.
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knit machine


Not only is this technique cool, but it also provides functional benefits that compliments how we make our shoes. The most obvious one when you wear the shoe is the breathability which is important in warm climates like Dubai. The Weight; The Tyndaris Hi and Lo knitted version’s are much lighter than it’s original all leather style from the previous season. Leather is naturally heavy when it’s all stitched and layered together but since we’ve combined the two to make the shoe 50/50 it’s clear that these benefits have improved this collection and made these styles more desirable for the spring and summer seasons.

The process itself to create this collection is time consuming and took approximately 10 months from conception to inception.

Here is the quick run down…

  • Create concept rendering
  • Create the paper pattern for knitted area on the shoe (size 11)


  •  Draw knitted design on the paper pattern 

creating the knit

  • Digitize knitted pattern sketch

digitizing knit

  • Develop first knitted upper following original paper pattern (size 11)

Behind the Design-Knitted upper

  • Purchase additional upper materials, lining, and hardware
  • Develop pair of samples using knitted upper 

 Behind the Design-pullover

  • Wear test sample/make corrections
  • Develop another pair of wear test samples
  • Confirm sample size 11
  • Order custom Last and have them graded from size 8 to 14


  • Grade paper patterns for knitted area in sizes 8 to 14 based on custom Last


  • Digitize and grade knitted pattern for each size (8 to 14)
  • Develop 1 set of knitted patterns per size to test first
  • Confirm graded knitted uppers
  • Confirm order for knitted uppers based on quantity, colors and sizes
  • Order additional bulk materials and components for production
  • Start production  

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  • Complete production

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  • Deliver production to retailer

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The mission was to design and build a great sneaker using a current technique and technology meshed with the traditional art form of handmade shoes. Shoes and sneakers that are made in America is few and far between and what I want to do as a designer is push the boundaries in footwear development and achieve on a small scale what those may think can only be done on a large scale. The Tyndaris Spring/Summer 2018 collection is proof of that and no matter what…we will continue to do our best to tip the scales.
dubai low top
Our spring/summer collection will be available at Level Shoes in Dubai @ the Dubai mall and online in February 2018.


Omar Bailey

Founder / Designer of Omar Bailey Footwear

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