What Inspires Our Designers?
We are very proud of our innovative, designer kid’s shoes here at Bobux so we’ve decided to share a behind the scenes look into how our designers approach the shoe design process.
We sat down for a Q&A with our shoe designers to find out where they get their inspiration, why quality materials matter and the meaning behind the shoe designs.
BOBUX TALKS TO:
Sam Burton: Design & Innovations Manager
Nicola Williamson : Senior Designer & Product Developer
Audi Siregar: Assistant Footwear & Design Developer
1. WHAT THOUGHT PROCESS GOES INTO MAKING YOUR DESIGNS TIMELESS?
Sam:Timeless design always comes from solving a problem in a creative and thoughtful way. By applying some real life research to understand how the shoes are being used and focusing on addressing users needs, the shoe will naturally take on a form that looks and feels right.
Nicola: Timeless designs have three key components working together in harmony – Beautiful natural leathers and materials, effortless designs that are uncomplicated and anatomically shaped to children’s feet.
Audi: I think of shoe design and fashion as a cycle, which will eventually repeat itself. Design cycle correlates with the change in popular culture that happens over the world, the same way in which music and art reflects the spirit of a particular period of time. For me, by learning about what products are regarded as good products in the past and to immerse myself in popular culture- this helps me create designs, which are aesthetically pleasing and connected to the current time.
2. CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH THE PROCESS OF DESIGNING BOBUX SHOES AND YOUR STRONG INVOLVEMENT WITH THE MATERIALS AND PATTERNS ETC?
Sam: Materials are the cornerstones in the design of Bobux shoes. We put a lot of time into researching materials that will meet the needs of our customers (as above).
From there we look at how we can strip the design of the shoe back in order to allow the quality of the material to shine through. We also test as much as we can with our little crash test dummies, this gives us a wealth of information that we can then feed back into our shoes to constantly improve them. Our design team is also great at pulling in inspiration from all over the place, which feeds our constantly evolving aesthetic.
Nicola: Using high quality leathers and materials is a key factor to making great shoes. Designer’s involvement in the product follows right the way through from concept to production. In between I develop all leathers with the tanneries ensuring the best possible qualities and colours are achieved to suit each shoe, as well as any other complementary materials and trims. We have very well established relationships with tanneries and pattern makers. I also fit, test and sign off every design Bobux makes. To say I know each shoe and component well would be an understatement.
3. HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO INJECT MEANING INTO THE AESTHETIC LOOK OF BOBUX SHOES?
Sam: First there is a lot of care that goes into the designing and making of the shoes, which we hope comes through in the finished product. We also pay a lot of attention to the design requirements we get from research. It’s important that if there is a really good innovation or idea, we communicate that through the design of the shoe in an obvious way. A good example of this is the super fabric on the toecap – you know as soon as you pick up the shoe that it is really durable and will handle anything that your little one throws at it.
Nicola: Bobux shoes are inspired by the children who wear them and allowing the leathers and materials to be the hero in each design. Children are at the heart of every design and everything we do at Bobux.
4. WHAT’S THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND SHOES AND HOW DO YOU SEE FOOTWEAR TECHNOLOGY IMPACTING ON SHOE DESIGN IN THE FUTURE?
Sam: The footwear industry is going through a mini revolution at the moment with huge advancements in manufacturing technology. This has a big effect on Bobux shoes and we are working on some exciting stuff that we hope to show everyone soon. I see wearable technology playing a big part in footwear in the near future as well, we just need to make sure this technology is being used in a way that solves a real problem in our customers lives, rather than throwing the technology into shoes because we can.
Nicola: Technology is playing a greater role in shoe design and manufacturing and I am excited about the seemingly endless possibilities it offers. It will help us get to market quicker as it can speed up prototyping and testing process as well as applying new manufacturing methods which can be done without stitching for example.
The future of shoes will change over time but it is important to keep true to our core values at the same time.
Audi: The advancement in technology helps us create better products in terms of testing and production. 3D printing has helped us a lot in prototyping our product before we commit to making the tooling for production. The development in manufactur ing processes drives us to think about what kind of improvements can be made to achieve better shoes for kids and parents alike.
5. IN YOUR BIOS, YOU MENTION YOU DESIGN SHOES WITH THE PARENTS IN MIND AS WELL. CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THIS FURTHER?
Sam: It is important that the shoes are easy to use, and make sense within the parents lives. We like to pay a lot of attention to how the parents interact with our shoes but also look at the all other objects, brands and services surrounding them. This way we know Bobux shoes are going to be relevant within their ecosystem of stuff and fit in their day-to-day journey.
Nicola: Parents play a huge role in our design process and we take the time to listen to them and learn what could be improved and what features/functions are most important to them.
Audi: Although we are in the business of making kids shoes, our customer is the parent. We want to give them peace of mind because they know that they have chosen the best shoes for their kids. We understand that it’s not easy being a parent and we desperately want to help make their lives easier by creating shoes, which have their kid’s foot health as number one priority- we think about it, so they don’t have to.
6. WHAT EXCITING DESIGN INNOVATIONS CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FROM BOBUX IN THE FUTURE?
Sam: We can’t tell you too much about what we are working on at the moment, but we are working on a lot of cool materials and processes that will make our shoes more durable, lighter, breathable and better for kids feet. We are working closely with a lot of industry professionals and experts to verify all this too so we can be confident we are doing the best for growing kids.
Nicola: Being brave and working with new technologies will enable us at Bobux to incorporate new innovation into each design and also creating new categories altogether!
Audi: We strive to keep improving in ways that shoes can be constructed, a tougher shoe that can take the beating that kids give them, while also remaining true to our founding values of foot health and natural movement.
Now that you've read about the secrets behind Bobux's shoe design why not check out the new SS16 range for boys and girls.