I was researching something today (it was of course shoe related) and came across this place – http://icanmakeshoes.com/. They run courses on various elements of shoe making, such as ‘start your future in footwear’ to ‘ballet pumps for beginners’ with the courses ranging in length from half a day to three days. Prices start at £75 for a half day course and go up to £3200 for a 10 day long master class in luxury footwear.
From the feedback they get it seems that a lot of people do their courses as precursors to foundation courses in similar subjects, although I bet there are a few women who attend who are just after the perfect shoe and believe they are the only ones who can make them.
I got quite excited and began to dream up the shoes I would design, only to find that they only have facilities to make up to 9.5. But still, a great idea and as far as I know, the only other place other than Cordwainers who offer shoe design courses.
For those of us who have got some spare money to spend on frivolities such as the ultimate, custom designed shoe without the hassle of making it yourself, there is Shoes of Prey – a frankly almost pornographic experience for someone like me, where you pick your style, fabric, heel everything – and they make them for you.
It’s a fabulous website and a fabulous idea (one of those ideas you wish you’d had). It’s actually also somewhere where you can mull over ideas you have about the shoes that you want, playing with different colours etc, before you actually hunt those shoes down on the high street. The main asset for me of course is that their sizes range from UK2.5 – 15!
This, coupled with the fact they have a great range of colours and materials and styles, mean that I fully intend to design a pair of shoes for myself in the not too distant future. A pair of heels would cost about £150 for standard designs
Another design and order place is Upper Street Shoes, who I’ve mentioned before, but are worth mentioning again – they do a similar thing to Shoes of Prey, even the prices seem similar (apologies if they have a totally different USP but to the casual eye it looks like a similar set up).
What sets them apart is the competition they run every Tuesday. Tweet them a picture of the shoes you’re wearing that day and if the judges deem them worthy, they grant you free licence to design your own pair. A seriously good reason to think about your footwear every Tuesday.
I’m not the first person to blog about these companies, Kat Brown has a whole section dedicated to where to buy/make/design bigger shoes on her blog, www.exoticmaypole.com (the link to the exact post here http://www.domesticsluttery.com/2012/04/ultimate-size-9-13-shoe-guide.html)
Dare I suggest that this grey weather won’t last, because it is actually June and so, summer, which means that even if we don’t have blazing hot sunshine every day, we are likely to want to wear toeless shoes? And you must be thinking about your holidays, walking on the beach or strolling through ancient cobbled alleyways, or meandering round a garden (I could go on). Either way, these wedged espadrille really will work all ways and with all things.
For now they are for sale via my eBay store but within the next 48 hours I will be going live with my own website – a fitting platform (I hope) for these particular shoes.
I am also moving forward with my business model and have adjusted it slightly to accommodate the needs of my customers and the limitations being a small business. Head to the new website in a day or so for more details.
Feedback as ever is welcomed. Thanks for reading