How Do I Become a Shoe Designer? - Video
If you have an eye for fashion and a passion for shoes, you may want to consider a career as a Shoe Designer. Shoe Designers, or shoemakers as they are sometimes known, are fashion industry professionals that focus exclusively on footwear design. Learn more about the education and training required to become a Shoe Designer here.
Education and Training
Although a college degree isn't absolutely necessary to become a Shoe Designer, a degree is certainly helpful when it comes time to secure employment in the fashion industry. Employers prefer to hire applicants who have comprehensive training in footwear design.
Formal training programs can be found through colleges, universities, vocational schools and fashion institutes. Some of these programs focus exclusively on shoe design; others teach students how to design shoes and fashion accessories. Most programs take between six months and four years to complete and result in some sort of certificate, diploma or degree.
Some of the specific topics commonly taught in a shoe or footwear design program include applied footwear design, computer-aided design, footwear collection development and footwear marketing strategies. After completing a formal training program, you will also have experience with drawing, pattern drafting and other industry practices.
Internships and Apprenticeships
Although training is important, work experience is absolutely crucial in this area of the fashion industry. To get the attention of top companies, you may have to participate in an internship or apprenticeship after completing your education. Internships and apprenticeships can be found through footwear manufacturers and retailers. Intern duties commonly include researching trends, making patterns and participating in product development.
Entry level positions in the Shoe Design industry can also help you gain experience and material for your design portfolio. Two of the most common entry level positions are production assistant and design assistant. Production assistants work directly with the development team to get a product to the market. Design assistants help to transform a designer's ideas into sketches and patterns.