Careers in Footwear Designing

at 1:27 pm
Campus of Footwear Design and Development Institute

Dwijendra Kumar

New Delhi: At a time when the Indian garment scene has undergone complete transformation with new silhouettes, colours, cuts and fabrics making their way into the wardrobes of a majority of people, it is but natural that old concepts in footwear  have also been replaced by new ones.

So, we have now a scintillating range of footwear – shoes, boots, sandals, pumps, mules/stilettoes– in the market in an array of colours and designs.

Latest Bata ads have announced arrival of footwear in 500 plus styles. Other leading brands in the field too keep making such claims. No wonder then, people want to step in style and so leading brands and footwear manufacturers too keep introducing new designs and styles to entice customers.

According to estimates, India occupies second position in  footwear production after China. Inherent advantage being availability of raw materials in huge quantity, skilled manpower and big retail market. Leading countries in the world such as Hong Kong, USA, UK, Spain,France etc source footwear from India.

All these have led to a surge in demand for trained footwear designers.Leading training institutions in footwear designing include Footwear Design and Development Institute, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India and Central Footwear Training Institute, Agra, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India.

Established in 1986, Footwear Design & Development Institute (FDDI) is a premier academic and training institution dedicated to the the development and growth of footwear, leather, retail and fashion merchandise, and fashion design sectors. Seven campuses of FDDI have been approved as Centre of excellence to take up research and innovation. At present, FDDI has campuses at Kolkata, Chennai, Fursatganj (UP), Jodhpur, Ankaleshwar (Gujarat), Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Patna.

FDDI Offers bachelor and post graduate programmes in footwear design and production. The trainees get in-depth exposure to the world of footwear design, fashion, styling, materials used, manufacturing techniques and use of various softwares.

Central Footwear Technology Institute, Agra too is a leading institute in shoe training. The institute aims to create trained professionals in footwear manufacturing through its various short and long duration training programmes.

The courses offered include Post Graduate Diploma in Footwear Technology and Management Studies, Diploma in Footwear Manufacture and Design, Post Graduate Diploma in Footwear Technology, Post Diploma in Footwear Technology, Advanced Certificate Course in Footwear Manufacturing Technology, Advanced Certificate Course in Footwear Design and Product Development, Certificate Course in Footwear Design and Production, Certificate in Shoe “CAD”.

Amongst other institutes are National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi which imparts training in footwear design as part of its training programmes focusing on Fashion, Styling, Design, Accessory Designing etc. Kashmir Polytechnic Government College Srinagar too offers a Diploma course in Leather Technology.

After completing training in footwear design and production, trained professional get placed in leading footwear brands initially at a junior level but climb up the professional ladder soon depending upon their performance and need of the companies. The leading fashion brands which recruit them include the following:

1. Bata
2. Hidesign
3. Tommy Hilfiger
4. Titan
5. Aditya Birla Group
6. Decathlon
7. Puma
8. Tata International

Job Description: A footwear Design professional has to develop design ideas and work on them in close coordination with sales and marketing as also production team, source right raw materials including accessories and keep taking relevant feedbacks from customers and buyers.

1. Footwear Designer
2. Footwear Merchandiser
3. Footwear Buyer
4. Footwear Development Manager
5. Manager, Footwear Production

Attributes of a Good Footwear Designer:

1. Knowledge and interest in Footwear and accessories used
2. Creativity
3. Sketching skills using latest computer softwares
4. Communication skills