Freelance Footwear Designer

Park Lea Design Agency Ltd


Our Approach

Need help with your design briefs!  This is how we could go about it.

Understanding The Brief

We chat with you about your footwear or fashion idea, we need an understanding of what exactly your business and your target market needs are and establish your expectations. We’ll then spend a little time putting together your plan and proposal for you, outlining areas of work to be done & costs. It’s important to us to understand how many designs and colour ways you might need at this point.  If you’re happy, we get to work!

Research and Trends – we look everywhere

We delve into online research, look at influential designers, brands and retailers from around the globe.  We check out what others are trending as well as creating our own direction.  For more directional projects, research may take place in art galleries, libraries, and look at our world and lifestyle trends, architecture, retro trends or anything else that allows the designs to be unique or make a statement.  Some clients are happy to have their own directional influences.

Mood boards – Key shapes / Colours / Stories

You may, have your own trendboards that you can share early on with us, but if you wish, we build up a design journey to stay routed and focused. Our research may not evolve into a storyboard as such but it is an important part of the process. This becomes the sturdy foundation that our ideas can then be based on.

Quick Ideas – To evaluate

Sketches or thumbnails are options that can be created, as a preliminary stage to offer you a sense where we are heading with your brief and you pick out your favourites unless of course we have established this beforehand and we know styling wise what you need.  In the case of footwear we choose lasts, heels and construction types that you prefer.  I work with a UK last maker on a regular basis if clients request this service for footwear briefs.  We can of course offer directional shapes based on your brand story.

Best Bit – Creative Execution

We get mega creative and bring the CAD designs to life through beautiful details, colour and material choice and really work into the designs so best to represent your conceptual designs

Ready to roll – Full Factory Specifications

Once you’re happy with your concepts designs, we move onto a very clear and detailed factory specification. This may mean we breakdown the design onto several pages and focus on any details. Some factories are more experienced than others and some trade suppliers can work from a good conceptual cad, but we can evaluate that at the time.

Branding – Logos and Packaging

During the process it’s good to think how you are going to promote and present your product to buyers.  We offer trend reports for different packaging design along with designing your own logo and packaging requirements like swing tags, bags and boxes.  Even in CAD format this can be impressive to see and iron out your decision making later.  People often under-estimate how long this can take to develop so put your thinking caps on and chat to us about it.

Perfect fit – try it on

It is always beneficial to ensure the 1st sample is right for your target market, before proceeding to make further colour ways.  Fitting and testing the product are important aspects that you may need to consider.

Heading off – travel broadens the mind

It’s important we bring back our own take on what we see when we are out and about checking out street style, global fashion hubs, creative boutiques, and trade and fashion shows. We want to offer diversity for all our different clients

Swatches – getting samples

If you have an idea of the kind of materials we are going to be working with, then it’s advisable to get swatches to us as early as possible.  Sometimes materials are so fabulous that they can evolve into a creative product instantly as they are just right to use on a certain product.  Don’t worry if you haven’t got any yet, some clients and projects don’t know what materials are best yet.  We can advise accordingly.

Creative Stage – CAD up the designs

This is when we draw up the designs in CAD format in a bit more detail with suggestions of shape and construction, materials and finished, details and any fastenings. This can be presented in black and white to make sure you are happy before we get to the best bit.

Prints, Graphics and Bespoke Illustrations – Something to consider

We can also look at patterns and prints for footwear, accessories and textiles, and can create graphics to sit with your styling.  Some Licencors have their own established graphical style guides which we use for licensed products, but we are very good at being creative with those guidelines too to create compelling designs.

Design Budgets and Factory Costs – plan and ask

Clients need to be aware that sample costs differ depending on where you are making them and the factory’s terms and conditions.   We know a few but it depends on your styling requirements and your minimum order you are prepared to place for your orders.  Park Lea Design Agency Ltd will tailor our packages to best suit your needs and budget.

A few weeks later – First Samples

We offer services to oversee product development and can work closely with your suppliers if you wish. Sometimes this can be done through satellite communications or with notice we can travel to your factory to guide sample makers through the process and manage what you are trying to achieve.

Getting it right – Critical path

Now breathe deeply – getting your product to marketDon’t be alarmed with it all, stay focused and be positive!  Let Park Lea Design Agency Ltd guide you through the design processes and make it easy for you.  It’s very important to us that your designs not only sell, but sales hit the roof, so not only think BIG! Think PARK LEA Design

No obligation – ask as many questions as possible

We can advise and offer no obligations estimates – just pick up the phone or email us.  We are here to listen and we are very good at responding to all enquiries.

Get in Touch

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