Footwear designers help create and produce different styles of boots and shoes. Like fashion designers, shoe designers must have a great sense of fabric, color, style and structure. As a shoe designer, you will likely research market trends and styles, deal with textile and material manufacturers, sketch designs, and oversee the production of prototypes. If you are interested in pursuing a shoe design career, you may wish to also have a merchandising, marketing or business degree as well. A background in business can prepare you to sell your shoes at the wholesale or retail level.
Many fashion designers have at least an associate's or a bachelor's degree in fashion design, fashion merchandising or a similar field. Such programs often include courses in fashion history, textiles, pattern making, design studies and drawing. Some programs might feature specific courses related to accessories and shoe design.
If you are looking to become a shoe designer, you should have an appreciation of beauty, an eye for color and detail, and a sense of balance and proportion. Despite the widespread use of computers, the ability to pick up a pencil or pen and quickly sketch out a new shoe design is a useful trait. While you may never be required to make a shoe with your own hands, pattern making and sewing skills will probably help you in the profession.
Shoe designers work for small boutiques or large retail outlets. You may begin your career by completing an internship or work study program while still in college. You might also begin in an entry-level position as an assistant a design firm.
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.
Aspiring shoe designers should be very creative individuals with a broad imagination. They should also be interested in and willing to keep abreast of current fashion trends and fads. Drawing and computer skills are also good skills to have.
Best of Luck!