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Producing a shoe is a lengthy and detailed process. The steps involved can vary between 70 and 300 or even more. The number of steps needed largely depends on the type of shoe being made, if it completely handmade, if it is a bespoke shoe or other similar factors (read our blog on Custom, MTO & Bespoke Shoes here to get an overview on the different options of shoe production).
But before even getting to the shoe workshop, there is an entire creative process that takes place that includes experimentations with materials, defining a concept and coming up with design ideas to prototype.
To come up with truly unique footwear, research and experimentation should not even start with looking at shoes, otherwise the final product will just look like an adaptation of the initial shoe. Inspiration for a new design can come from anywhere. It can be the result of an experience, a new material found, a song that has instigated emotions, from daily life or even our dreams.
When the starting point is personal and unique, it will most definitely lead to a unique final product as well, and this is what we aim for at the Rana Cheikha Brand. Read on to find out our process.
From Concept to Prototype to Final Product, an Overview:
Making a beautiful well-designed shoe starts many steps before the first shoe sketch is made or before the first nail is hammered. A strong concept is imperative to create strong pieces with a clear and lasting brand identity. It is clearly important for the designer and artisan to have a close relationship and understand the technicalities as well as limitations of each field. When an understanding between the two is made, the cohesiveness in work will reflect in the final product being made, it will be a technically well-made product that is designed beautifully. All this creates stories and conversations between the designer and artisan and the wearer of the shoe without them having to even meet.
Signing-off: Rana Cheikha for The Shoe Advisor
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Using your hands to create changes everything.
I really and truly fell in love with craftsmanship and leather works only when I started working with my own hands. It was one thing to walk into a boutique or atelier and smell, experience and appreciate, but it was a completely different level when I started executing the entire process from A to Z myself. One’s love for design, product, and creation is one thing, but the love of making is another.
There needs to come a time when the age-old question concerning ‘form or function’ should no longer stand. I do believe that we are getting closer to this time, however, I also believe that some of us need a bit of a reminder! I also believe that