Freelance Footwear Designer / Developer

As Freelance Footwear Designer / Developer you will be working on a seed project to design and develop a recycled and recyclable women's footwear capsule; a mule, a ballet flat and a trainer.
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Salary: £300-360 a day

As Freelance Footwear Designer / Developer you will be working on a seed project to design and develop a small women's footwear capsule comprising a mule, a ballet flat and a trainer. The objective of the project is to design three commercial trend inspired styles using recycled and recyclable materials, think refined high quality with a modern twist, complimented by a range of well-conceived tasteful detachable accessories. Upon design finalisation you will be responsible for prototype development working with at least one UK based manufacturer or sampling studio as a stipulation of the initial funding. 

The brand is on a mission to eliminate waste in the footwear industry by creating a modular circular capsule collection showcasing a detachable accessory mechanism that enables the wearer to create different looks by interchanging bows, buckles, chains or charms. The goal is to live in and love each pair of shoes or trainers and recycle at the end of life.

The successful designer/developer will bring originality and commercialism combined with an excellent instinct for raw materials, components, style, product performance and durability, (raw materials and components can be sourced internationally). Experience working with recycled and recyclable leather and components is required alongside recent development experience which is a key part of this project, including the ability to generate prototype CAD's and costings. 

Start date is October 2020, the project is split into 5 development phases and estimated to run for 8 months before launching commercially. The possibility exists for the role to evolve and continue as the brand gains traction.


Main responsibilities

  • Design and development of three core styles, a mule, a ballet flat and a trainer inspired by the latest trends whilst achieving a high standard in fit, comfort, quality and shape.
  • Evaluate, mock up and test the existing patentable attachment mechanism on different styles and provide critical feedback and recommendations.
  • Sourcing and development of recycled and recyclable raw materials, leathers and components working with UK or international tanneries and suppliers.
  • Test circular materials such as recycled leather, apple leather, cactus leather and organic hemp for the uppers; recycled flipflops and cork for soles; and non-toxic adhesives liaising with Europe’s largest footwear recycler Soex on solutions.   
  • Consider how to reduce or eliminate adhesives from production, experiment with traditional welting techniques scalable for production by simultaneously testing through the development process.  
  • Preparation and presentation of mood boards and colour palettes.
  • Creation of detailed CAD’s and tech packs for prototypes.
  • Travel for sourcing and development where safe or appropriate combined with video calls and regular email and telephone communication.
  • Liaise closely with the founder at all stages of the design and development process from initial concept to final prototype sign-off.
  • Lead, set, manage and execute the critical path for design and development ensuring key milestones are achieved.
  • Effectively manage the project to create three strong commercially successful styles that achieve or surpass expectations in fit, comfort, aesthetic and innovation.

Essential Skills

  • Degree in Footwear Design.
  • Expertise in Women’s Footwear Design and Development with a minimum 5 years’ commercial experience working in Premium or Luxury footwear.
  • Experience designing for an international consumer.
  • Refined eye for shape, colour, raw materials and components with a demonstrable track record in creating commercially successful styles showcased in an up to date well-presented portfolio.
  • Expertise in construction techniques for women’s footwear.
  • Experience sourcing and developing recycled and recyclable raw materials understanding performance capabilities and product suitability.
  • Experience developing premium or luxury footwear with factories in the UK and Europe.
  • Ability to lead, set, manage and execute the critical path for design and development ensuring key milestones are achieved.
  • Highly organised self-starter with the ability to prioritise workload and achieve deadlines.
  • Ability to effectively manage expectations throughout the project and drive a vision backed by knowledge and knowhow.
  • Excellent drawing skills with proficiency in Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • You will need to be UK based for this opportunity.

Or, know someone who would be a perfect fit? Let them know!


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