To master the art of shoe design, one must first master the art of trend spotting. It takes patience, the ability to stay in the background and an excellent nose for the styles and materials that are going to set the fashion agenda of tomorrow.
These future trends must be tracked down wherever they might be lurking: among the crowds on the pavement, in big department stores or tiny boutiques, in the online blogs or lighting up the catwalks during Fashion Week. The colours, looks, accessories and materials used by each designer must be pored over so that not a single detail is missed. The result is that high-street fashion serves as the inspiration for the styles in our collection, featuring accessible shoes which are better suited to everyday wear.
Using lasts which have been modified to take account of the latest trends, preliminary sketches are drawn in our factories in China. These sketches are referred to as 'footprints'. The uppers (the upper section of the shoe) are then selected and adapted based on the footprints. A first model of the shoe is thus created. Adjustments are then made in order to improve the shape of the shoe. Sometimes up to five models are required before the desired shape is achieved.
Once the right shape has been moulded, the materials to be used for each shoe are selected. A range of about a hundred different materials is available, in different colours and quality finishes. Then the shoe has a zip, strip of velcro, buckle, bow or pair of laces added to it, depending on what goes best with that particular model.
From the moment our shoes are created to the moment they arrive at the boutiques, where quality control is conducted on each pair, observation is everything...