I have finally received the rest of my prototypes, adjusted up to this point, and am feeling a whole lot better about the way that my line is taking shape. At this moment, the shoes are finally done with all of the pattern adjustments, which takes up the majority of the prototype work. Now, I just have to finalize the minute details like lining & sole colors, perfecting the medallion (placing on shoe and style), making sure that the shoes (patterns) are consistent with one another (when using the same pattern on two different lasts) and have them wear tested by a trusted expert who can give me constructive feedback on fit and comfort. I assume that I will need to take one more trip to my factory, sort out the rest of the work and have them re-made one more time for the final prototypes to become complete. I am thinking (best case scenario) that this will be sometime in May/June that I will receive them back. At that point, I can’t say whether or not my shoes will be ready for A/W 2012 release. I guess that it will depend on who takes them and how fast we can sort the business stuff out. Nevertheless, please know that I am doing everything that I can to make sure that the shoes come out quickly, but that the shoes are also going to look good and hold the integrity of the price that they will be selling at.
(Toe shape more accurate looking to picture on right)
When looking at the pictures, try to bear in mind that I took these very fast (just to show all of you) and right after they came out of the shipping box. So, if they look a little rough around the edges, that’s because they are, as I did not do anything to enhance their look, especially as they are all just prototypes that will not be apart of my true finalized samples. At this point, I have shown you just a little over half of the collection, and mostly all of the straight forward stuff. There are still about 6 styles that I am going to leave until the prototypes are completely finalized. I do this first and foremost, because I would like to leave a bit of excitement and anticipation in the air and partly because I do not wish to release all of my ideas to some of the people that read this blog (i.e. other shoe brands, designers etc.) before they are ready to be released to the world. Just so that you know, allow me to go over what I have showed you and what will be left for later.
What I have shown you: Cap toe oxford, saddle oxford brogue, penny loafer, chukka boot (in pointy last), plain toe quarter brogue with medallion (in black leather on pointy last and suede version on round last), Prince Albert wholecut loafer and derby with piping.
What I haven’t shown you: Balmoral boot, double monk strap, chukka boot (in round last with heavy sole), derby without piping, oxford saddle shoe, oxford wholecut with brogueing, and jodhpur boot.
What I am hoping from all of you, as I want to involve you in this whole process, is to start thinking about the models that I have showed you and to give me your thoughts on what colors you would love to see them in. When the prototypes are all finalized, I will put them up for a week or so, in order to let all of you give your top picks for color options. But, as a way to get that process going now, in order to speed things up, I would be more than happy to have you list them in the comments section below. Bare in mind that I will have to look at all of the comments and make a decision based on what is most feasible, sellable and popular.
For the derby shoe below, I am still very unsure about the piping that I originally thought would look good. I know that it is not for the common individual, but thought that it would pose as something fun for the shoe lover that wants something a bit different. Obviously, this derby will also come without the piping, but when making prototypes, I believe that you should make the craziest things first to know what they look like. It’s easy to imagine it without the piping but would be difficult to understand how it looks with it, without having seen it. So please, tell me what you all think. If I keep it in the collection, it will most likely be a one-off anyway.
I hope that all of you are enjoying watching the progress of my shoe line, as it unfolds and are also enjoying the product that I have created thus far. Do know that there is still more to come, some fun stuff too, the stuff that you would expect to see from me, after all this time of talking about colors, details etc… But I want to save it until later so you will just have to trust that it is there…
Thanks to everyone who has supported me and who eagerly awaits the release of my shoe line…
Justin, “The Shoe Snob”