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Help with shoemaking in the US

oconnellda

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I have several designs of men's loafers made in Sketchbook/Affinity Design. I have also modeled a last in Fusion 360 and had a last made by from a company in Germany (minke.de). Finally, I have collected several leather samples from a few US manufacturers. With all of this in hand, my question is: Where do I find someone to help me create my shoes in the US?

I know several brands use European and Asian factories. Are there any folks on this forum with experience in shoemaking that could help me?

Thanks,
Dan
 

Godot

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I'm no expert on this but as no one else has offered any assistance, here is my 2$. There are a number of companies that make custom shoes. For the most part these companies seem to offer a made to measure shoe based on their design rather then a true custom shoe. Probably for an extra 50% one of them would make some shoes of your design. If you want them for your personal use & don't mind a $1500 price tag for a pair of loafers, problem solved.
If you want to market the shoes, that is probably not the way to go. I would view all the online tutorials on how to make your own shoes, take a class in leather working, apprentice for free for a month at your town's best shoe repair shop, buy some thrift store loafers & deconstruct them. In short I'd get some expertise in the dirty work. After all that I think I'd be able to make a pair of shoes or a least a pair of sample shoes. Then I'd attempt to have someone like Allen Edmunds buy the designs. It seems like a lot of work, but if it's something you want this is one approach. Good Luck
 

oconnellda

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I'm no expert on this but as no one else has offered any assistance, here is my 2$. There are a number of companies that make custom shoes. For the most part these companies seem to offer a made to measure shoe based on their design rather then a true custom shoe. Probably for an extra 50% one of them would make some shoes of your design. If you want them for your personal use & don't mind a $1500 price tag for a pair of loafers, problem solved.
If you want to market the shoes, that is probably not the way to go. I would view all the online tutorials on how to make your own shoes, take a class in leather working, apprentice for free for a month at your town's best shoe repair shop, buy some thrift store loafers & deconstruct them. In short I'd get some expertise in the dirty work. After all that I think I'd be able to make a pair of shoes or a least a pair of sample shoes. Then I'd attempt to have someone like Allen Edmunds buy the designs. It seems like a lot of work, but if it's something you want this is one approach. Good Luck
Appreciate the advice. I think ultimately I want to make a custom loafer first, then market/sell it. I've done a little bit of the dirty work by designing the last and having it made by a last maker. The next step would be things like the leather working and shoe repair to learn the nuts and bolts. In the past I did reach out to smaller retailers to use my designs, but they were much worse sketches back then. I could try that route. Thanks!
 

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