Saturday, June 21, 2014

Geta Collection: Fiona Flat Sandals

These flat sandals have a unique footbed  that really resembles wood, even the surface texture.  Together with my supplier, we tried techniques how we can achieve the wooden effect for the footbed. It took us a couple of weeks before we were able to achieve the perfect look using treated PVC soles.

This collection was inspired by the Japanese thong wooden clogs known as Geta in 2009.  I added prints on the “wooden footbed” resembling  Japanese block prints. 

Japanese Geta sandals, photo by Google.

These were produced in Liliw, Laguna but were never sold in Liliw's Gat Tayaw fair. 

At that time, with Kuya Noel and Kuya Hermie's help we developed several suppliers from Liliw, Binan and Gapan areas to supply our increasing demand for Hoc Yan’s (a company under the Unitop Group) Fiona footwear line through our advocacy of teaching correct footwear processing & manufacturing.

It really sold well. At 1,200 pairs per design as our minimum quantity which was more than what most of the big players are ordering from footwear manufacturers.

I made sure that the patterns were made only by the pattern maker that we endorse to make sure that fitting & construction will be close to ideal. Since most of the manufacturers in these areas are not applying scientific principles in creating their patterns which logically results to bad construction and fitting. 

I cannot vouch that all the shoes sold in the Gat Tayaw Fair in Liliw are well constructed, hence with good fitting. I will only vouch for the products that I had ordered & my team has overseen its production.

Hopefully I could redo this collection sometime soon in a more ideal factory setting & competent workers.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Covet These Office Pumps!

Admittedly, a corporate woman needs something a little more sophisticated. That was exactly what I had in mind when I developed this collection for Effegi together with my supplier. Heel height is reasonable at 7 cms to 9 cms which translates to 2 ¾ inches and 3 ½  inches.

Elegant, sophisticated yet very comfortable office pumps. These were also made available in different classic colors such as brown, beige, navy, tan, red to give ladies more choices.

The only drawback for me was that the material used are all synthetic, I would have preferred leather, but I had to create a product line for this market that is within the limits of affordable price points.

So this is how it all starts, suppliers present to me their shoelasts and other components and I start to make design complete with the type of materials to use and where to buy them. 

On an ordinary day this is how my working table looks like :D It's busy, busy, busy! Thanks to my Angels who cleans up after me.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fits Like A Glove: Foldable Satin driving shoes

This is a project that we did for a local brand in 2012, who was starting their first boutique in Greenbelt, Makati. 

We just developed & perfected the real foldable driving shoes, also known as pocket shoes. My product development team consisting of my pattern maker Cindy, upper maker Marina, laster Ding & technical consultant Noel Box, toiled for almost a week just for the foldable prototype.  We’ve repeated the patterns, creating superb techniques in extracting the perfect fit from the shoelast so that the foldable driving shoes will fit like a glove. 

This was also an important part of Cindy’s training for court shoe footwear pattern making because this was the first time that Noel Box taught this technique.

The construction of the sample prototype was repeated numerous times, trying all possible techniques in constructing the foldable shoes with a perfect fit & at the same time easy on the production line.  

I tried not to notice all the wasted materials and hours of work, but the result really paid off since we’ve made the foldable driving shoes so much more comfortable close to what Salvatore Ferragamo has developed, thanks to Kuya Noel.

Our client, the owner of the brand chose satin fabrics from the selection of the materials that we used, & she made a very good choice, too.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Cruise Collection: Men’s Moccasins With A Twist

Ok, you guys are probably wondering if I only design shoes for women. The answer is no. I had pretty much done everything, from kids to men’s footwear, except orthotic shoes. So for the gents out there, this is something that I think will interest you.

A group of business students from Ateneo approached us to create the footwear line that is part of their school thesis. They wanted to create and sell online an eco-responsible footwear which they branded as Heritage.

The design is totally not original, although they wanted something casual classic men’s wear that would appeal to both young and middle aged market groups. So we’ve given them lots of advice as to the type of materials to use and how to incorporate the use of the tire’s interior as outsole for the moccasins which is the eco-friendly side of their project and still make it a marketable product. Our advise also extended to their packaging and pricing.

Just a background, the use of tire’s interiors is not a new concept at all, even if the hype around the use of it for eco-friendly footwear is recent. Mr. Noel B. Box, the mastermind behind our very own World’s Largest Shoes actually used tire interiors when he was just a teenager for a school project which gained an award and was noted then by the DTI for originality.

May I also add that there is no eco-friendly with footwear production at all! Claim to this note is purely pretentious. One can make a pair of shoes eco-friendly to a very small degree, but that’s it. I say this because we do footwear processing and manufacturing and it is completely component dependent, 85% to 95% of which we import from China and the chemical components of which are not at all eco-friendly. It is sad to see when companies tend to mislead people into believing that this is so through their marketing campaigns.

It was a challenge to work with a big group, although the kids were great. Finally the first prototype was done. I used a luxurious aqua cow suede for the upper, with pigskin lining and insole. The sole is a combination of the interior of a ten wheeler truck and rubber outsole. The group was satisfied with the outcome.

Here, Jerald Sze of  Straighforward Clothing is trying on the aqua green prototype which he loved so much he bought it for his personal use.

Finally, they chose the beige, navy and tan colors. Happily, the group passed their thesis presentation garnering high grades. Sadly though, I don't think that they were able to push through with their online project. 

But Jerald Cze sold the rest of the stocks on his website Straightforward Clothing and has continued to sell shoes on his site.