Footwear designer, Dr Martens, aged 26
Described by Success Appointments operations director Kate Barron as a “real ball of talent”, Samuel d’Avoine is in his second season as a designer at Dr Martens. Asked to describe his role, he says: “Evolving one of the best footwear brands in the world. Dr Martens was a revolutionary footwear invention and remains unique in function and construction. They’re iconic and one of few footwear brands that have been adopted by different cult groups.”
D’Avoine studied footwear design and making at De Montfort University before becoming an accessories designer for Puma, feeding his passion for performance fashion design.
“Working for Puma gave me insight and understanding of how both the [fashion] industry and a global brand operate, which was essential experience for me,” he says. “It helped me realise my passion was as much in making as in design. The experience taught me the importance of being as close to the manufacturing process as possible.”
His next move was to shoemaker Loake in its factory in Kettering. D’Avoine was involved in the entire footwear creation process. After just a year, he joined Dr Martens, where he considers himself to be “extremely fortunate”. He says: “I get paid to design shoes and travel the world. It’s nice.
I play a part in the evolution of footwear design and manufacturing.”
He adds: “Don’t depend on or wait for anyone else to get where you want. It’s all on you. Work super hard, stay hungry, keep the passion, keep your conscience, and put some love into all the work you do.”