THE #100DAYPROJECT – PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION…

Last week I passed the big 3-0 days of my #100daysofshoemaking which means by now I’m more than a third of the way through. Woah! It should also mean I have more than 30 shoe posts on my Instagram account to sift and scroll through too but do I? Here is my honest account of how the first part of the project has gone, what’s coming up next and some tips for anyone out there embarking on a similar challenge…

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100 DAYS TO BE CREATIVE DURING QUARANTINE

WHAT’S THE 100 DAY PROJECT?

I don’t know about you, but the Corona virus quarantine has left me feeling a bit creatively numb. Life is really topsy turvy right now as we all adjust to a new normal and despite a positive attitude and the gratitude I have for my health, I have found it difficult to be creative. As a result, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate not only creative thinking but stimulate my imagination to help focus on my ultimate goal – a footwear and leather goods brand of my own. This is where the 100 Day Project comes in…

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BEST PART OF THE JOB…

When I tell people what I do for a living their reactions generally fall into one of 2 categories;

1).The Appreciators – “wow! what a cool job!” (genuinely curious and immediately accepting of an ‘arty’ career)

2).The Disbelievers – “is that even a real job?” (feigning interest and stifling laughter)

Sadly, so often design is hugely undervalued by non-creatives and yet if it were really that easy to come up with imaginative concepts day in, day out, surely everyone would be capable and thus eliminate the need to employ a designer in the first place?! My very good friend and Graphic Designer, Michelle Abrahall, has recently written a great article on this which you can read here.

Today however, I don’t want to dwell on the ‘non-believers’ of this world! Today I would like to share the best part of this job and that is to see your designs actually out there, selling well and being worn.

I mentioned in my last post that one of my designs was about to be delivered and last week I was able to see it first-hand, in-store, on a visit to London. I know it’s not groundbreaking and it won’t be winning any awards this year, but it is commercial and on trend which means at least it’s got half a chance of selling!

To all those friends, family, (especially my wonderful parents), and ‘appreciators’ who have always encouraged my creativity, here is just a tiny, little success story, but one which I am still immensely proud of. And to all those who thought my career a funny one: who’s laughing now…?! 😉

Zoe x

Elasticated slip-on

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A SNEAK(ER) PREVIEW…

Over the last few months one of my favourite projects has been to develop a new range of men’s vulcanised shoes for AW15. My initial ideas can be found below. They were subsequently developed into CADs, then spec sheets and finally the samples we have ultimately been busy showing customers. It’s always exciting seeing a 2D design come to life as a 3D shoe and it’s so satisfying to be able to present the final samples to clients and see the reactions first-hand!

It’s all a bit hush-hush still at this stage as these shoes aren’t in stores yet but I’ll update with photos once they become available!

Zoe x

Nigel (was harry) edward

parker Eric

BERLIN BABY!

I love that my job involves travelling to awesome places and for AW15, I was able to visit one of the fashion capitals, Berlin, for some serious shoe inspiration! The city itself is brimming with art, design and creative-types and right at the heart of this is the Mitte area, where I stayed. (Thanks @GeneratorHostel for a great couple of days).

It’s important to feed creativity so it’s great to leave the office, experience some culture then return to work with fresh eyes and renewed enthusiasm. Here’s some snaps and mood boards from my trip…

 

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AW15 SNEAKER BOARD

 

Mens AW15 1

ALL CHANGE…

It’s taken me a little while to write this up but I’m now back in the UK and working on Men’s footwear again! For the past few weeks I’ve been settling in and getting my teeth into a fantastic role on the Sales/Product Development side of things which involves lots of factory-chasing, design development with our in-house Designer and face-to-face customer contact.

As part of this, one of my first tasks was to attend the AW14 Press Day of one of our biggest customers, Primark. Their collection for AW14 was inspired by a magical journey around Ireland, (birthplace of the Primark chain), and called “Adventure Awaits.”

On womenswear, there was a wonderful palette of wintery, pastel hues, metallic fabrics, thick chunky soles and bold, statement jewellery. On men’s the feeling was a mixture of sport, heritage and the great outdoors ranging from formal brogue footwear, to casual desert boots and sporty, running trainers.

Here are some snaps from the event, including a few rather delicious foodie-shots! (I blame my sweet tooth…!)

 

Zoe x

PrimarkAW14

 

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Q. WHEN IS A SHOE DESIGNER NOT A SHOE DESIGNER?

A. When she’s designing gloves!

That’s right, this week I have been asked to sketch a couple of ski gloves and a football goalie glove for a company not too far away, in Bolzano. It was quite a nice challenge that prompted me to ask myself, if I can design shoes, what else can I design? And can a designer interchange easily between one field and another? I think they can. If you can understand the design process, you can then apply your knowledge of trends, timescales, dealing with factories and liaising with clients to so many different products. If you are capable of designing, I think you can design almost anything; you just need to study the construction of something to understand the technical aspects that will be a fundamental part of that design.

Anyway, I’ve decided to post my first attempts at technical gloves. Obviously, my knowledge of the technical construction is pretty limited but aesthetically I am pleased with the outcomes. See what you think!

Ciao,

Zoe x

Reusch Ski Glove Ideation

Reusch Ski Glove sketches

Reusch Woman's Ski Glove Reusch Men's Ski Glove Reusch Goalkeeper glove