Here I am sharing my design process and drawings of BASF DesignFabrik concept footwear project. However, this product is tail WIP. All samples images below are prototypes. These are the first round samples developed by factory.
In 2019 I had an opportunity designing a concept shoe for BASF’s creation division, DesignFabrik. If you have known Adidas Boost footwear (you must live under a rock), the unique popcorn midsole is created DesignFabrik.
During the six year period between 2001 and 2007, I was working for Rockport at Reebok headquarter (before Adidas acquired Reebok) and Fryeboots out of Greatneck, New York. My main design focus was in leather footwear, which is very different comparing to sneaker design.
Applying textures to a design is a powerful technique and fun way for creating compelling and lifelike in design. In design, texture is generally only a visual thing, but it creates a physical illusion.
This is the second method of apply graphics onto a rubber shoes, which is thermal vacuum transfer. This method is different with method one, water transfer. Sometime the design requires only partial graphic applications onto a shoe, which the water based transfer is not the best method.
To follow up my article about how rubber shoes are made, I am introducing the next step to style these rubber shoes. Most rubbers are very color driven, brands like to use fun colors to create a story around these seemingly “boring” shoes, such as neons, retro color palette, etc. Sometime brands will take one step further to make these shoes extra fun in order to add diversity to an exiting style.
As a designer in product creation industry, adobe illustrator is a big part of our professional life. When I started in footwear design as an assistant, illustrator has been my best friend and pain in my neck (literally). This is one application I have to use on a daily basis. Pretty much the entire design industry is based on a line art form of CAD drawing, line art technical specifications, line art cad color ups, graphics elements, etc.
Unless you have been living under a rock, if you are a street culture enthusiast or into product and branding at all, the news of fake SUPREME stores popping around the world, Europe and China is reality now. So happens that I have been “lucky” enough to live in one of the cities that owns a fake SUPREME store, Shanghai. I pretty much have to pass the store everyday on my way to my work. As a footwear designer and years of branding experiences, I feel it’s my obligation sharing and reporting to product creation community in the world.
Walk into a supermarket, you most likely to see these slippers, flip-flops hanging like dried fishes on shelves. Commonly, they are known as “rubber shoes”. They are easily considered as cheap and low quality footwear. However, in the world of footwear design, injection is a manufactory technology, which has been taken to a level of style, fashion and design by brands like Crocs, Native, Rains, just to name a few. They are light weight, affordable, and damn comfortable. They are rubberish, and pretty fun to wear or just look at them. They are almost toy like.
No matter how much advanced technologies are used in footwear manufactory nowadays, for instance, one piece knitted upper reduces most stitchings to be assembled, direct injection footwear reduce upper assembling altogether, a whole 3D printed sole could cut down manufactory time to half and manual labor to zero. However, all these technologies can only produce certain types of unique footwear styles. Most footwear still requires the essential human hand work. (At least for now, until automation manufactory one day completely replacing human operations. Well, comparing to one of The Twilight Zone episodes, we are much closer to have this dream or nightmare becomes a reality.)
You don’t have to be a sneaker design to know what a sole of a sneaker is. Essentially it’s the bottom part of a shoe, which in most case has a midsole and outsole part. If a shoe upper is for aesthetics, then a shoe bottom is for function.
In the world of sneaker manufactory, fake shoes are the end result of a long process of a successful branding shoe creation. As a matter of fact, every famous branding product manufactory has its own fake market. In a way, fake product is a “milestone” at the end of a product creation process. It is a sign of success, some may say.
No one wants to see a pair of flimsy shoes when opening a shoe box. Yet shoe material are soft, and don’t have a shape on its own. So how exactly does a shoe keep its shape most time of its life. I am going to explain how shoe shape is maintained.