â€˜Shoes speak louder than wordsâ€™, Donâ€™t they?
With influx of a number of unconventional courses in our country, Shoe-Designing is gradually making its way too. The footwear industry has also seen an interesting change over the year. What began with an objective of merely fulfilling the necessity, is now an overriding part of all top-notch fashion shows. Everything from flats, sandals and stilettos to boots and sportswear rule the roost. It would not be wrong to say that ‘Shoes speak louder than words’ today!
How this course emerged?
With the demand for fresh designs and concepts, the footwear market is running towards fulfilling the appetite of all. Institutes such as FDDI, NIFT (Delhi), Footwear Design and Development Institute (U.P.), Central Footwear Training Institute (Chennai) etc. are offering undergraduate, post-graduate and diploma courses in the same. Each year, these institutes are observing surge number of admissions in their Shoe-Designing courses. These footwear technology courses are also regarded as the most progressive of fashion related and design courses in India.
Also, due to a plethora of international footwear brands attracting the Indian population, it is serving as another reason for people to pursue such a course. Interestingly, India is the second leading country (after China) in footwear production in the world.
What is taught in this course?
Talking about the nature of this course, it begins with planning and sketching patterns and designs in scale drawings. This may be taught on paper or computer software or a mix of both. Later, it moves on to create sample prototypes and test them for their functionality and aesthetics. Experimentation with different materials (leather, canvas, wood, plastic or jute with embroidery etc.) and working with complex machinery is the real fun during this whole process. The last step involves transforming the conceptualized design to an actual footwear for wearing, along with assuring it is comfortable to the feet.
The essence of designing footwear lies in ‘Precision’. What might attract the eyeballs may be the worst piece to wear. Make sure whatever you produce is practical, durable and meets all the set standards. We often forget the technicalities and regret later. So, precision is the key!
Who is fit for this course?
Anybody who has a desire to experiment, aesthetic fair and an eye for creativity can choose to pursue Shoe-Designing. It will would be requiring you to work along with the principles of colour, balance, line and other design elements. Good drawing skills will also work for your benefit. Aspirants should also possess the foresight to both envisage and adapt to upcoming industry trends.
What is the work scenario?
There is no dearth of jobs in the footwear market. The opportunities are bright in areas such as technical, designing and management. Different job titles include Footwear Designer, Product Developer, Product Development Manager, Quality Controller, Footwear Technologist, Merchandiser, Marketing Executive, Planning Executive and also Trend Analyst.
Most of the multi-million footwear manufacturing companies viz. Reebok, Nike and Adidas heavily rely on these people. They rope in some of the best talents of the world to work for them. Alternatively, these graduates also open their independent design studios or work for fashion shows.
We believe that a career in footwear designing is a satisfying and lucrative option, if worked the right way. A good talent can begin with earning 1 lakh or above. So, go ahead and design the best pieces, we say.