Designing children’s shoes has always been a passion. A process that feels easy and always comes very naturally to me. I have a lot of fun with the category as it sparks my imagination and creativity like no other!
For the last three years, one of the companies I’ve been collaborating with has been UMI kids. They are a solid company with great emphasis on fresh designs and quality products. Initially, I was designing for the boys division, and due to a measure of success, was given the opportunity to work on some girls projects as well. My start was for Autumn/Winter 2012. for the 3-8 year old category. The design process was really fun and fluid. With the project completed, the response and the feedback have been very positive. I was thrilled to come across some press in Vogue Bambini for one of my designs called “Panache.”
Below, is a peek of my process. This is just a sample for now. You can see extensive ideation when my new website is up and running so check back soon!
Panache was an inspiration that came to me while traveling to Asia on business. While in Hong Kong, I was inspired by how stylish the children were, wearing low profile footwear with lots of bold embellishments and bright colors. It was also great to note how the kids in Asia took great fashion risks dressing almost as stylish as their mothers or fathers.
A few exploration sketches before final drawings were sent to the factories. There are many more and a few that made the line, but are not in stores just yet!
For me, marker renderings are an important way to express my ideas in color. For this particular shoe, I love how the back is cut out on the outsole. Unfortunately, the factory was not able to execute on my initial idea due to reliability and production issues.
Detailing the shoe is very important in the design process. It’s also my favorite part of the process. I felt that the Velcro strap is predictable, so I opted to make the strap elastic. Girls love feminine details and of course flowers. Rather than keeping the flower a small detail, I thought let’s make the flower bold and three dimensional. It was important for the outsole to be low profile and also be a dual color outsole! I was very happy with the final execution!
Panache available in stores now! More styles on this low profile outsole coming soon too!