Students and their Italian Shoes

Written by:  Jovana Mirabile

This past September, eight lucky Senior students in BFA Fashion Design, including myself, were selected to work with the Shoe Polytechnic in Italy. This meant that we were able to have two of our shoe designs produced in Italy!

With the help of Shoe Design professor, Howard Davis, we immediately had to create tech packs to present to the students of the Shoe Polytechnic in Italy creating our shoes.  The next step in the process was a design and production consultation meeting with Giuseppe of Iris, who helped us select which of shoe designs we would have produced.  Giuseppe worked closely with each one of us, reviewing our specs and measurements to ensure our designs would be interpreted perfectly.

At the end of the first semester, our prototypes were delivered…. Christmas came early for us!  It was unbelievable to see how our 2D sketches were built into the exact 3D shoes we designed.  With the prototypes in hand, we were able to make any minor adjustments on design details that were not translated from the 2D sketching process.  Again, Giuseppe was here with our class, to make sure he knew exactly what corrections to make before creating the final shoes.

After finalizing the shape and structure of the shoes, it was time to choose our color ways and materials as each shoe design can be produced in 3 color ways.  We had to figure out every last color detail within the shoe—from the upper to the sock lining. Then, our shoes flew back off to final production in Italy.

Through this experience we have learned the importance of design communication through technical sketches, as well as how to create full tech packs for shoe production, knowledge that is extremely valuable within the industry.  Having the opportunity to work with Giuseppe and the Shoe Polytechnic has been a dream come true!  It has been an honor to be able to partner with them for this project.