art of the evolution of the Komfortzone, I will reach out to different designer in the footwear industry. A year ago I started receiving mails from different designer following my blog and some of them became keyboard pall. One of them is Scott Wills.Scott graduated with a first class honours in footwear design from the Somerset College of Art’s & design in 2003 and went on to be awarded ‘accessories designer of the year’ at the London graduate fashion week in the same year.In early 2008 after working for branded and private label companies as a full time footwear designer , scott decided to set up '' The tailored last footwear design agency '’, to provide a freelance & project based footwear design service for branded and private label companies.
Scott - We manage all aspects of footwear design: from research, design, development and strategy to tech packs direct to your factory. We have over eleven years experience in footwear design & development, and have experience with developing footwear first hand with footwear factories in Europe & the Far East including India and Taiwan.We have a great combination of talent and experience and pride ourselves on bringing new and exciting conceptual footwear design idea’s to the table. We also offer a full trend research service tailored to your specific needs.
KZ- Did you start off wanting to design shoe or the life path kinda got you there?
Scott - No, I didnt think about a life in footwear until I had started my fashion degree when I was 25. About two months into my fashion degree we where given a module on footwear design run by a pattern cutter from Clarks shoes. I had been struggling with pattern cutting when it was on a large scale such as with fashion design but as soon as I started with footwear I completly understood and could visualise everything I was making, I never returned to fashion design.
KZ- How would you define UK footwear industry compare to USA ?
Scott - Thats a hard one for me to answer as I havent had any real experience of the footwear market in America but for the UK there is still a huge love for cheap vulcanised footwear and it doesnt seam to change with each season, Vulcanised footwear takes up 50% of my time summer & winter.
KZ- What is the biggest challenge in working freelance?
Scott - Gaining regular clients. When I started going freelance full time in 2008 it was difficult but now I have quite a few regular clients and quite a few clients on a random basis so its become a secure full time career. I spend a great deal of time chasing new clients and of course now I have been in the industry for coming up to 12 years a good deal of my work comes from 'word of mouth'. I also think having a really well designed website is a good advertisment for your services. I see so many websites that are 'home made' and the design layout and content is really bad . I do not understand how you can expect to sell your services if your webiste is showcasing a poor understanding of design.
KZ- Do you get most of ure inspiration from the footwear industry or is there another source that gets you creative?
Scott - It comes from many directions and thanks to daily blogs such as your own & highsnobiety my morning starts with a run through loads of different insights into fashion, architecture, music etc. I also only use apple products and refuse to even entertain the idea of using a PC, if the tools you use don't inspire you how can your designs even have a chance.
KZ- Asia is getting saturated with production while europe is living a crisis, do you think this means bringing back some factory jobs back in europe?
Scott - I would love to do more out of europe especially spain. I sometimes have the oppourtunity to work out of portugal which has some amazing pattern cutterns and mould makers but the price point for 80% of my clients is still too high. The problem is with much of the UK is that there is a still a mentality of 'buy um cheap stack em high'.
KZ- what is the top 5 brands out there that is a must in your wardrobe.
• Common People
KZ- tomorrow you win 10 millions, do you start ure shoe company or leave for seychelles and wear flip flop?
Scott - I'd love to start a small high end footwear brand based out of Europe and get back to being more hands on, learning more pattern cutting and getting back to the factory floor.
KZ- We live in a world of fashion globalization and bloggers and everybody as it's vision and interpretation of whats the next big thing. How do you feel about this democratization of fashion where 16 years old becomes trend specialist?
Scott - I love it, its great that anyone can have a platform to express their opinions and viewws of whats hot and whats not. At the end of the day for me, i'm working for the most part in very commercial middle sectors and the trends I pick up are the ones the general high street are running with so everything I do is based on much research & trend reports so as not to go off in the wrong direction.