Top 5 Most Annoying Footwear Design Clients

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of doing freelance footwear design, or opened up/worked for a design agency, you’ll have undoubtably ran into a number of these nightmare clients. If you haven’t yet…lol, you will. I’ve had them all, from hypebeasty kids with no idea to socially awkward doctors and egotistical celebrities –

This is my rant on the ‘Top 5 Most Annoying Footwear Design Clients‘ –

1. Wannabe Designer – Client*

Generally starting off the email something like, ‘YO, I got the DOPEST shoe idea’, and usually followed with the doodle of a 12 year old school girl. They have zero knowledge of design or development (and don’t care to have any…) and they for sure don’t have enough money to actually make a sample (not to mention do production)…though we’ll of course both get mad rich when we sell the idea to Nike, right?…..right?

‘Yo, I got $200, with my ideas and your knowledge we can make millions bro, let’s do this’

Myself and Omar were genuinely thinking of making a website dedicated to showcasing these types emails (that we honestly get on the daily).

*Not talking about actual young designers that have talent or are currently in education and trying to do something different, you guys can feel free to reach out to us anytime.
1st Doctor (2)

2. Anti-social, Old Doctor – Client

Unfortunately, I don’t find your new method of reducing bunions to really be that exciting, and I especially am not fond of your total lack of social skills and condescending attitude. I also love the way you answer my in-depth, page long email with one word. *

Also…DOWNLOAD SKYPE OLD MAN, I mean it’s not like it’s brain surgery or something.

* Don’t get me wrong not all doctors are bad clients, some get it, but I would have to say around 9/10 have absolutely no idea whatsoever. (We have a doctor as a client…we don’t mean you I promise..please don’t fire us)
Zoolander / Zoolander

3. Overly Confident Fashion House – Client

They’ve been in the industry for years and think they know everything there is to know about fashion, and for the most part they probably do…However, they have absolutely zero knowledge when it comes to designing and developing their own footwear…though they of course would vehemently deny that.

Not only are they incredibly annoying (whiny voices), they also want perfect results, first time, they also want it done yesterday (though they of course aren’t willing to pay the extra cost to do that). Oh, and it’s always your fault…always.

4. Celebrity – Client

Nobody cares it’s got your name on it…probably nobody less than myself to be honest. I’m not going to work on your project for free because you’re a celebrity.*

* Unless you’re Christopher Walken

5. Ignorantly Impatient – Client

Before your first meeting, they’re already claiming your behind. They’ve been to other agencies/designers, but weren’t happy with them (they were to cheap to pay their fees) and they have an incredibly unrealistic time-line and budget.

These clients don’t want to listen to reason at all, they aren’t worth the hassle 100% of the time.


Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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  • Chris - 6 years ago