What do shoe designers do?

Shoe designers develop several different types of footwear. Many shoe designers will specialize in designing certain types of footwear, such as boots, athletic shoes, dress shoes, or sandals. Like other professionals in the fashion industry, shoe designers must be aware of current fashion trends. Shoe designers are responsible for creating the layouts, models, and depictions of what will eventually emerge as footwear. In addition to having an artistic flair for style, the shoe designer must also be conscious of structural integrity, comfort, and material efficiency. Typically the designer works as part of a team responsible for concept creation, design research, comprehensive design rendering and assessing new technologies in materials and textile processing. Footwear has been a necessity for humans for centuries. It protects our feet from dirt and cold as well as sharp sticks and stones. The first shoes were basically nothing more than bags that were secured over the feet. Typically, these bags were made from very thick durable material, such as animal hide. Mere peasants, although their shoes were a few steps up from simple bags tied to the feet, did not have such luxuries as ornamental shoes. Generally, commoners only owned one pair of sturdy, comfortable, and practical pair of shoes. If they were lucky, these extra shoes would only be replaced when the previous pair was outgrown or riddled with holes. It wasn’t until shoes were being mass produced and became more commonplace that they started being viewed as fashion accessories. Today, shoes play an important role in fashion. Women, for instance, are often stereotyped as being shoe addicts, and in some cases, this image isn’t far off. Many women do lust after trendy and unusual shoes, to the point that they may have several pairs spilling out of their closets. One extreme example of a shoe enthusiast was Imelda Marcos, wife of the exiled Philippine president, Ferdinand Marcos. Some reports have estimated that she owned anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 pairs of shoes. Shoe designers develop several different types of footwear. Many shoe designers will specialize in designing certain types of footwear, such as boots, athletic shoes, dress shoes, or sandals. A few shoe designers may also design footwear specifically for women, men, or children. Like other professionals in the fashion industry, shoe designers must be aware of current fashion trends. Although some shoe designs, such as black pumps, are considered to be classic, fads come and go, and designers must be able to adapt to the fickle mentality of consumers. In order to come up with a particular design, a shoe designer will sometimes work alone, but he may also work with a small team, trading concepts and ideas. If a shoe designer is creating a new shoe for a client or employer, he must also be open to outside ideas and specifications. Some things that a shoe designer may consider when coming up with a new shoe design include aesthetics, comfort, support, safety, practicality, and durability. The next step in the show design process involves creating a visual plan. During the initial planning stages, a shoe designer will usually make several quick sketches of his design. After he has perfected his idea, he will then start making more detailed designs. These detailed designs are sometimes created with traditional art supplies, such as pencils and markers. With the advancement of modern technology, however, the use of computer design software for shoe design is becoming more and more commonplace.

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