Late last year in Milan, Dominic Chambrone (a.k.a The Shoe Surgeon) and I had an interesting conversation about the whole “Last Comes First” theory, and his personal view-point on it. I’d have to say, coming from a world of creating my own shoes, both for clients and my own ventures, I agree with a lot of what he’s saying. Ideally, yes, the last should come first…but is that actually feasible for today’s smaller/independant brands that don’t have the budget of their larger counterparts to continure opening new sole tooling?
See what Dom had to say, below.
Last comes first is such a catchy sound. And it makes a lot of sense. I love the idea hat everyone should truly focus on the last first. Yes it’s the integrity of the foot. It’s the 3d shape we build our designs on. It should be the main focus. But what about the sole?
I’ve worked with many different companies and brands that have produced in Portugal, China, Italy , Spain etc.. and I learned a lot.
While large companies with money can truly focus on the last what’s happening to the smaller guys?
A new sneaker company can’t just open a new mould all the time as its very expensive.
The little guys with much less money have to focus on choosing an open mould and then finding a last that can fit inside that mould. Yes the last can be altered after you get the base footprint.
But does the last really come first now?
I would have to disagree. The sole comes first in many instances. We have to develop our shoes based on open moulds and open lasts. Starting from scratch isn’t cost effective. Starting a new last, starting a new mould costs $$$
The last should come first as its the part that resembles the foot the most. And that’s what shoes are to be protective Armour of someone’s foot.
I would say at this time the sole comes first or they go hand in Hand. You have to choose the sole and then the last simultaneously. Until we continue to push the technology of shoemaking from 3d printed outsoles to abilities to open easier less expensive moulds. We the ones with not so much money will continue having to choose the soles before the last.
Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks | Instagram @MrBailey_ | www.MrBailey.co.uk
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