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Course Summary School: The Footwearists

Location: Netherlands, Rotterdam

Education: Diploma

Over the years we have been approached many times by people who wanted to start their own sneaker brand. Often their dreams would not come to fruition, because they simply did not know how to use today's manufacturing and market conditions to their advantage. This course will help participants overcome these issues. In two weeks you will learn how to create sneakers in a smart way, designing only what is absolutely necessary to your unique style and concept and using off the shelf components when you can.
Furthermore, you will learn how to apply and integrate branding and maketing in a very modern way, using all advantages that social media and online (pre-order) sales can offer. Many young sneaker brands that are very successful now - like Filling Pieces - started out this way. They created their own uppers, but used existing outsoles and marketed mainly - if not only - through online channels, until they had enough revenue to start making their own outsole molds and to deliver stock to retailers.
This is not just a design course though! It is essentially a course in sneaker entrepreneurship. Apart from making one or more prototypes, you will set up a business plan, using the business model canvas. This is a model that visualises all elements that a good business plan should entail in a very clear way, making it understandable and applicable to those who do not have an accounting or business managament background.
Another advantage of this course is that is does not only focus on the western market. We teach Sneakership in China, not only because this is a great production market - even for smaller runs - but also because it is the fastest growing sales market. During the course you will set up your own online store; you can choose to create one for the western hemisphere, using Instagram, Facebook, Etsy or another platform of your choice, but also for the Chinese market, using Tao Bao or Wechat.
This course is taught at the Art College of the Guangzhou Panyu Polytechnic, the largest footwear design school in China, close to the main shoe manufacturing area. They have a full prototyping space - which is basically a small factory - that includes all common footwear machinery, as well as digital equipment, like CNC, laser cutting and all kinds of 3D printing. Since our course is during their summer holiday, we will have the space all to ourselves!
Course schedule:
Week 1 - Concepting your product and brand
Monday-Tuesday: concepting your brand
Wednesday - Thursday: prototype your concept, including basic pattern making
Friday day: start with business model canvas, finding a suitable brand name
Weekend: digest and THINK THINK THINK; homework is to completely fill out the business model canvas. You and also do an optional visit to Guangzhou material market.
Week 2 - Finalizing product and brand
Monday: continue on business model canvas, improve concept and business model
Tuesday – Wednesday: improve your prototype and/or create more
Thursday: start your online store (Etsy and/or Tao Bao)
Friday: finish online store and present final result (concept, brand name, business model, product and online store)
Course details:
Level: this is an intermediate level course. We strongly recommend that you follow our Sneakerology course first or otherwise you should be able to show in an online meeting with us that you already understand how sneakers are manufactured.
Location: footwear prototyping space of the Guangzhou Panyu Polytechnic, Panyu (Guangzhou), China
Duration: Two-week intensive
Maximum number of participants: 10
Teachers: Nicoline van Enter (branding and business), Eva Klabalova (prototyping) or Alex Reed (prototyping)
During the course you will have a few online conversations with other successful sneaker entrepreneurs, who can help you bring your concepts further. We aim to select entrepreneurs from out extensive network that match with the goals of the participants.
Dates in 2018:
Monday, July 16 - Friday, July 27 (no class on the weekend, but lots of homework!)
Price: 10 class days at an intermediate level price, so this amounts to €2000 (excluding VAT, if applicable). This amount is to be paid in advance.
Included in the course price: general prototyping materials. We will have a broad range of leathers, textiles and vegan leather alternatives for you to use. If you have any specific materials that you want to use for your brand, then please bring them to class. If you arrive the weekend before the class starts you will also have the opportunity to go to material market in Guangzhou and buy materials there. Ideally you will have followed the Sneakerology course as well, and then you will have had more opportunity to shop for materials.
Not included in the course price: flight tickets, hotel accomodation, visa, breakfast, lunch and diner, mandatory books (see below) and any materials you want to buy for yourself
Costs for travel and visa will vary depending on country of origin and preferences for accommodation can also differ per person. After you have been registered for the couse you will receive a document with recommendations for visa application and hotels at various price levels.
Unfortunately we will not be able to accept participants from countries that do not have regular visa regulations with China.
How to apply: please send an email with your CV (LinkedIn profile) and short motivation to join this course to info@footwearists.com.
Mandatory course books:
You are required to bring "How to Start your own Shoe Company" by Sneakerfactory to the course , in the printed version! You can buy it here: http://sneakerfactory.net/sneakers/downloads/shoe-designers-double-pack/.
Recommended combinations with other courses:
The Sneakerology course is an ideal combination with Sneakership, because in this course you will learn all about sneaker manufacturing, including the basics of costing. Sneakerology is given right before Sneakership to accomodate this combination. If you follow both courses you get a 5% discount, so then you only pay €3895 for a whole month of intensive training that allows you to actually manufacture and sell your own sneaker brand!
Possible extras:
After the course you will have a business plan and one or more prototypes than can be produced. If you want, we can help you find the right factory in China. Prices for sourcing services are upon request, after evaluating your protoype(s). Extra time will need to be planned after the course to visit potential manufacturing partners. Email us for more info.