Liam Humphreys, regional director, Michael Page Design & Development, on how to be a men’s footwear designer.
Footwear design has a more complex and technical nature than other sectors of design such as apparel, so getting a degree from a recognised University course will set you up with the required foundations.
The Cordwainers Footwear Design and Development course at the London College of Fashion (LCF) is highly regarded in the industry. Otherwise there are many other UK universities who offer footwear design and production courses.
Try to secure an internship whilst you are still studying, as the commercial experience that you learn could differentiate you from other CVs when you’re starting your career. In some cases this can then turn into a full time design assistant position upon completing your education, firmly establishing you on the career ladder in this industry.
Companies look for footwear designers who have an in-depth knowledge of their product, a strong understanding of their target customer base, and have the ability to spot future market trends. They need the capability to design a commercial but aspirational product which keeps the business ahead of the competition.
A footwear designer role can be an extremely rewarding and challenging career. Perks include international travel and a path to design/creative director positions in the future. As an experienced footwear designer, salaries range from £40,000 - £50,000 (depending on experience and the size of the brand).