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How to be a Footwear designer

Advice from Salma Sodawala, Recruitment consultant at Henry Fox

Recruitment Footwear design offers one of the most exciting careers in design, with celebrities and sports stars sparking a heightened interest in footwear and footwear brands in recent years.

To be a successful footwear designer you need enthusiasm for brand identity and a love of product, two passions which often start at an early age. Having a creative, yet commercial, eye is also crucial.

A qualification to HND or degree level in footwear design and development, industrial design or product design is required, along with excellent CAD and hand drawing skills. Many footwear designers have a love of shape, detail and innovation, all of which they use on a daily basis, from creating lasts and moulds to reviewing and checking blueprints.

A career in footwear will vary depending on whether you work for a luxury, high street, or a sports and lifestyle brand. Development processes, materials used and price points vary widely across sectors.

Employers look for designers who have solid technical skills and a desire to create something unique and exciting, bringing a special extra ingredient to the brand.

As this is a specialist area, starting salaries are around £18,000 and can exceed £70,000 for senior roles.

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