Archive for the ‘Design’ Tag

Future of Footwear 2012 Athletic Winner: Aric Armon

As I’m sure you have seen we are now taking submissions for PENSOLE: Future of Footwear 2013.  In order to help get your creative juices flowing we decided to reach out to last years winners so that you can hear, straight from them, what FOF is all about.  Over the next 5 weeks we will catch up with each of the winners so that you can see the designs that earned them the title Future of Footwear 2012.

First up is Aric Armon, whose Basketball shoe earned him the Future of Footwear in the Athletic category.

First of all congratulations, it was great meeting you at the FN Platform trade show.  Did you have any footwear background prior to the Future of Footwear class?
I always had an interest in footwear design. At the time I was finishing up my degree in Industrial Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and from time to time I would sketch shoes in my notebooks whenever I had extra time. It was always just a fun thing to draw. But the biggest crash course I had in footwear design was in the Adidas Pensole class a few weeks before the Future of Footwear class. That is where I learned the most about the process of designing footwear and realized there is a huge difference between “sketching shoes” and “designing shoes”.

Tell us about your experience in the Future of Footwear class.
That class was one of the best experiences of my life. Being around all of my fellow classmates, who all came from different backgrounds, really opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities. Everyone there shared the same passion I had and it pushed me to do my best. The truth is I have never worked so hard on a project and not have it feel like work. I really learned a lot about the process, which is really unique to footwear, from ideation to tech packs. There was so much to learn and experience, from D’wayne teaching us about design, to footwear legends like E. Scott coming in and helping us with our projects; I just wanted to soak it all in.

As part of the class, you where selected to attend the Platform trade show in Las Vegas, what was that like?
The trade show was another awesome experience. During the show we casually talked to people walking by about our projects and by about the twentieth time explaining my concept, I had my story down. It was definitely an eye-opener in regards to being able to explain what I had done and doing it in a way that was quick and interesting, which is often the hardest part of presenting any project. I also got to meet a lot of people from the industry which opened up a lot more opportunities for me.

You where selected as the winner of the Future of Footwear in the Athletic shoe category.  Can you tell us about your design?
Yea, I was tasked with creating a basketball shoe for a new company called Drive Nation. So I began my process by thinking about my consumer and what a 14 year old kid would want in a shoe. I remembered being that age and going through those summer growth spurts and what that meant for my shoes. I would grow out of my shoes in literally a couple months so when I bought a new pair, I would buy a shoe that was too big, anticipating that I would grow into it. This obviously led to other issues with blisters because my feet would be sliding around on the inside of my shoes. So I focused on a lockdown fit system for the mid foot which would help to alleviate some of that sliding. After that I decided to build the shoe by only adding what was necessary; a toe box that kept the foot secure in lateral movements, and two heel “wings” to keep your heel locked down to the midsole. I then brought the midsole up around the heel to further resist the ” blowout” which occurs during cuts. Aesthetically I was inspired by the spear, which is what drive nation’s logo was inspired by, so I wanted to create a very angular and chiseled look to the shoe.

At the Platform trade show, you where presented with a pullover.  What was it like to see a pullover of your design for the first time?
I was in awe, It felt like Christmas or like I had just given birth to something. It was a crazy feeling seeing something come from your head and into your hands. I swear my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.

What have you been up to over the last 8 months, since I saw you in Las Vegas for the FoF 2012?
Well I finished up my last semester at school and graduated with my degree in Industrial design. A few weeks after graduation I moved up here to Portland to intern as a footwear designer at Adidas. It has been a pretty busy year for me. Congrats

What advice do you have for designers looking to be apart of the Future of Footwear class of 2013?

I would say that if you have a passion for footwear design then there is no reason not to. The class isn’t about who can draw the best, or who has the most experience; It’s truly about who has the passion for it. So regardless of skill level, you should submit something that shows your ability to think from a unique perspective, don’t do anything that is already out there or is expected.

Aric, Thank you for your time.   

Register Here to learn more about Future of Footwear 2013

 

 

MESH01 2012 Designer of the Year: 3Design

We are proud to announce that the 2012 MESH01 Designer of the Year is none other than 3Design. In 2012 3Design led the pack finishing 1st in 5 different projects, 2nd on 3 occasions, and 3rd once.  You may have read our blog featuring his designs back in November, but I had the chance to catch up with him again to learn more about his background in design.

How did you learn about MESH01?
Visiting design sites, one day I saw the publication named the MESH01, I entered the link, and saw that it was a site dedicated to product design competitions, so I started to participate in it.

Had you participated in any design competitions before?
Yes, but nothing compared to MESH01 competition or on-line. Here in Brazil, there is a contest to highlight designers to market “TOP OF STYLE”.  This happens only once a year, like those contests taking place in Italy and other countries such as Thailand and Japan.

Can you tell us about your path towards becoming an Industrial designer?
Well, nothing too complicated. I come from a family of traditional modelers, and was always surrounded by information on product development and marketing, so I began to put my ideas into practice, with the help of graphical computing. First with marketing and advertising, then I majored in technical footwear and later industrial design, always looking for the 3D digital world, rapid prototyping, robotics and modeling speed. After a while there began to appear opportunities to create products for businesses in the city where I live, and later to companies from other cities in Brazil.

What are some of the highlights of your career to date?
Nothing too great, but with a sense of gratification, having the opportunity to create many products that have been very well accepted in the Brazilian market and for export.

What do you feel makes your designs and style different/unique from others?
I feel totally the will to create all projects in 3D/DIGITAL modeling, from start to finish, but with a small contribution from 2D sketches, something like / 3D 85% – 15% 2D.

Who are some of the designers / artists that you pull your inspiration from?
I’m always looking for a way to create a form and a style unique and unparalleled, but when lacking inspiration, I always have on hand architecture books, technology, automotive and decorative, and 3D movies.

Where can designers go to see more of your work?
Here on MESH01, but also COROFLOT and FACEBOOK

Thank you for the interview, can you offer any words of advice to the other designers out there in the MESH01 community? “Feed the DNA of creativity, always,” and always alert because ideas and opportunities should not be discarded.

You can see MESH01′s Top 10 Designers of 2012 Here

MESH01 Top 10 Designers of 2012

Each year “Designer of the Year” is awarded to the designer who accumulates the most points during the calender year.  (1st – 1000pts, 2nd – 800pts, 3rd – 600pts, 4th – 400pts, 5th – 300pts, 6th – 200pts, 7th – 100pts, 8th – 50pts) This year was a competitive year with over 80 different designers earning points for their work.

The Top 10 Designers of 2012:

  1. 3Design                         8600pts.
  2. Shevitz                           4400pts.
  3. Axeldeviaje                   4100pts.
  4. Renderman                   3350pts.
  5. Ajerm                             3200pts.
  6. MWalters03                  3000pts.
  7. Quetzal                          2900pts.
  8. Bewler                            2850pts.
  9. Matt                                2800pts.
  10. JayHung                         2600pts.
    BLR                                  2600pts.
    Doitall                             2600pts.
    Moffat                              2600pts.

Read more about MESH01 2012 Designer of the Year: 3Design

Kickstarting Your Own Footwear

By now I’m sure that you have all heard of kickstarter.com.  Over the last 2 years we have seen some really cool projects launched as result of the crowd funding king, but did you know that it is also being used, successfully, to launch footwear brands? This could be an interesting option for those of you looking to do your own thing.  Below are a few of our favorites.

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IGUANEYE

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1079536332/iguaneye-freshoe-ultra-minimal-shoes-inspired-by-a-0

“Iguaneye freshoe brings Amazonian foot protection back with a cutting-edge minimal, yet modern, sneaker.”

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 YOURS

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1936734175/yours-footwear

A new shoe label called YOURS, with casual canvas styles that focus on minimalism, attention to detail, and aesthetics.”

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FORSAKE

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/forsake/forsake-all-weather-kicks-to-keep-you-dry-and-fly

“We got tired of wet, ruined sneakers. So we designed our own. It’s like your hiking boots and dancing shoes had a love child.”

 

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LUP

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lup/lup-ping-pong-inspired-footwear

This product did not reach its funding goal but we love the design and the cause that the money was going towards.  Hopefully we can see more like this in the future.

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 INDOSOLE

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/indosole/indosole-soles-with-soul

“Indosole’s mission is to salvage discarded tires from landfills and give them new life as footwear.”

YOU CAN STILL PLEDGE ON THIS PROJECT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer From Africa Dreams of Nike

 

At MESH01 we take a lot of pride having a global community of designers from varied backgrounds.  Nobody represents this better than Cameroonian designer Tousse Emerique AKA Tangou.  Over the last year I have gotten to know Tousse, and never have I met someone with as much drive and work ethic as him.   His story is truly inspiring.

At home drawing.

Tousse Emerique, How did you get into footwear design?

I always loved drawing everything around me, but I was more passionate about cars and shoes.  Footwear was my favorite because in my district there were children from a rich family wearing basketball shoes to play basketball every weekend.  Every evening I would go there to see the sneakers on their feet and then come back home to sketch my own sneakers. On Monday, I would show them to my classmates.

Always drawing even at the market.

One day as I went to see the guys playing basketball, one of them saw me looking at the sneakers on his feet and challenging it to the one I designed.  He came close to me and discovered my sketches, then asked me, “is it you who do this?” As he was a child from rich family, I was afraid.  I got up and I started to run to my house.  He tried to find me and started to convince me that he was liking what I do.  He told me that the thing I do is called design, and said that companies like Fila or Adidas might like my design and produce them. Nike was my favorite, and my love for design became so big, I started putting Nike logo on all shoes I was designing up until secondary school.

How have you utilized the Internet to learn more about design?    

Unable to sell his goods in the street, the market where Tousse works is dangerously perched on top of a collapsing bridge.

I told to my father one day that I would like to work for Nike in the future.  He said that  I need to graduate at school then he will get me to study footwear design someday. Unfortunately he died when I was just 16 years. 6 years later my mother could not pay my school anymore.

I decided to look for a school in footwear design to study and get my graduation to design shoes that I could post to Nike.

Cyber where Tousse gets the internet.

Unfortunately, I noticed there were schools in arts but none in the footwear design field.  My friends told me I will never get to design school because they are only abroad (country of white people) were you can find such a school. They also said I should better give up because it is impossible for people like us to get there for study.

I knew I should find a solution to get to footwear design school, but how?  Then one day walking in the street I saw people working on the computer.  I got in to the cyber and asked to the network man what it was about.  He explained to me everything, and I told him about my wish to find a school and people doing the same thing as me.  He opened a mailbox for me and taught me how to use Internet.  We do have Internet but it is very far from my home so I always have to take a taxi to get there and we have connection problems all the time, but we do with.

Online I discovered Mr Pietro Pellicelli and I wrote him a letter.  He answered me back and started to teach me design.  We have known each other almost 3 years.

Pietro Pellicelli is the first one who started to help me with a book called FOOTWEAR DESIGN GUIDE.  I discovered Mesh01 and posted a letter to look for mentorship and I discovered Mr Nick Huber who helped me improve my skill, and Matt Dealmeida on Core77 who also helped me to improve.

It is true I’m not a professional, yet, but I would like to thank them and all the professionals of Core77 that answered me back.  And thanks the one who created the Internet.

Thank you Tousse.  You are a real inspiration and we can’t wait to see what you design next.

Washing Windows to Solhiem Greens: Designer Johnny Mitch

Recently I had the opportunity to catch up with Jonny Mitch, designer who inspired the Callaway Women’s Hyperbolic Golf Shoe.  The Hyperbolic is a very special shoe for MESH01.  It is the first shoe inspired by the MESH01 community to hit the market.  You may have even seen it on the feet of LPGA stars including Morgan Pressel at the Solheim Cup

First of all, congratulations on the Callaway Women’s Hyperbolic Golf Shoe.  What is it like to see a shoe that you where a part of go to production, and even be worn in the Solheim Cup?

The Solheim Cup is a huge deal in the world of women’s professional golf. I wish I could attend- it’s the WPGA’s Ryder Cup. I’m proud that some of the United States women will be wearing a product that I was a part of.  Thank you Brian, Mesh01 and Callaway for giving me a platform to get my work out into the world!

What was the inspiration behind your Hyperbolic design?  How did you incorporate this inspiration into the design?

So, to be honest with you I don’t really remember all the details. I do know that the brief was one of the easiest for me to design from.  There was no guessing involved because Callaway did such a great job telling the designers what they were looking for. So… I took direct inspiration from the brief.

Jonny Mitch’s Callaway Hyperbolic submission

I’ve grown up around the game, (of golf) and loved it since I was five or six when I won a local tournament. In middle school/early high school I worked as a cart boy for the local municipal course so I could play for free. We picked up range balls, cleaned clubs, gassed up carts, hunted rattle snakes, and perfected 360-degree power slides down the wet grass of the driving range hill. Those were the days! Haha.  Jim Oscarson is going to kill me if he ever reads that : )

Anyways, my research is based on real life experience- not some meaningless picture found on google.  I know what golfer’s dress like, so my goal was to design an upper that will go well with the rest of their wardrobe.

8 hours were spent designing the shoe and explanation pages with only 11 minutes to spare before the contest deadline. Not going to lie, towards the end I was getting a little nervous. The first hour I taped up a last and figured out how I wanted it to be constructed based on the brief’s expectations. Then I took a picture of the drawn on last and dropped it into Photoshop. From there it became a digital art exercise geared toward catching the judges attention. Sorry, If that isn’t a very exciting back story- I was just too cramped for time at that moment. But hey, it all worked out.

Sample created from Jonny’s drawings

Getting here has not been the easiest; I hear you started your own business to put yourself through school.  Can you tell us about your window washing business?

My Dad bought the (window washing) equipment and a small list of accounts from a guy leaving town.  Then, when I turned 16 and received my driver’s license, he dropped it onto me and my brother’s laps and said that if we wanted to be able to pay for college this was our ticket.

Have any of the lessons learned as a business owner carried over into your design work?

I don’t know how much it has carried over into my design work, but it taught me many life lessons. The main one is- Why work for “The Man”- when you can be “The Man”.  One summer I was tired of scrubbing bug poo and dried dog nose prints so I quit to go work for the city down at the marina.  I quickly learned that 10 hour days at minimum wage weren’t going to work for me. You just can’t beat making your own schedule and salary-even if its not a very glamorous job. The job also taught me to dream big. Once the word got around town that a 14 and 16 year old were the best in the valley the Seattle millionaires with summer mansions on the lake started calling. They introduced me to a whole new world that I am still working toward.

You recently finished an internship at K1X in Munich, Germany.  What was this experience like, traveling abroad for an internship?

Besides having a total creeper as a roommate and no money to get out and experience the city, my time in Munich was great. Pete and Rainer were amazing to work with. Pete taught me so many insights into becoming a better designer. And Rainer is a master craftsman.  He could take one of our designs and make a real sample within a day.

How would you compare the design scene in Munich to the North West United States?

I don’t know if I can answer that question. I say that because the K1X design scene is not normal for Munich. Some of these guys are ballers. They are consumed by hip hop culture, and have their own clubs where they can promote all the new releases.  Some of them have moved onto starting their own brands. I haven’t met a group of people like them anywhere.

So what is next for Jonny Mitch?

For now I’ve been advised to work in the footwear industry for a few years before I start my own brand. Be on the lookout.  I feel my mentor D’Wayne Edwards is setting me up with the best chance to succeed in such a competitive industry.

Once again congratulations and thank you for the interview.  Can you offer and words of advice to the other designers out there in the MESH01 community?

I’m going to leave you with the wisdom my friend Christopher Burns gave me way back in middle school. He said “Everybody gets what they want in life.” I quickly laughed tried to argue with him saying, “I want a Lamborghini- but I’m not going to ever get it.” And with a dead serious face he replied, “If you really want something, you’ll find a way to make it happen.”

When you get that Lamborghini I call “Shotgun”.

 

 

 

 

Designer Limelight: 3Design

 

We recently caught up with a designer who has been awarded 1st a record 7 times.  3Design gives us a sneak peek into his process and a recent project he has been working on.

My name is Fransergio Caminotto, I live in the city of Franca, São Paulo, Brazil.  I work as a designer of footwear, soles, products, and marketing projects since 2001.

The process of my technical and artistic work is all in 3D modeling, but sometimes I sketch in 2D to better capture ideas.  To create the products, I get inspired by images of technology, robotics, automotive design, aerospace and others. The software used in my work are: RHINOCEROS 3D, COREL DRAW, AND NAXOS.

My saying to create unique shapes and styles is: “FEED THE DNA OF CREATIVITY, ALWAYS.”

MESH01 performs a great job with designers from around the world.  Thanks for the opportunity.

Thank you.

 

If you have a design that you would like to see featured email nickh@mesh01.com

Skittles: Armani Exchange Concept

We recently caught up with Stefan Brown AKA Skittles to see what he was working on during his internship at Armani / Exchange.

This project was given to me based on the demand for a new style men’s watch within the brand. The watch was to be established as an A|X style watch based on its key characteristics and features with a sports style.

This watch was designed purely for aesthetics, with function being secondary. Inspiration stemmed from divers watches, with the ratcheting bezel and a subtle use of color pop which acts as a superluminova accent under water.

Features: One eye chronograph movement, sub-eye tracks seconds, minutes and hours, and dial states military time.

Consumer: (Male 18-35 years), busy, on the go lifestyle, to do date on current trends, and has a key attention to detail.

Price point: Retail $600

 

 

 

Proof of Concept

I recently had the chance to catch up with the guys over at Proof of Concept.  Their diverse backgrounds and experience in the business certainly gives them a unique perspective on the industry.  Check out how they see the industry changing and the technology they are using to do it.

For those unfamiliar with Proof of Concept, can you tell us about what you do?

Proof of Concept, inc. is consulting firm consisting of four athletic footwear veterans that have over seventy-five years of footwear experience, with most of those being at industry leaders like Nike and adidas.  Our primary area of expertise is that we use cutting-edge 3D software and hardware to help companies take new product ideas from their initial concept to prototyping through the creation of a final tech package.  In additional, if necessary, we can also oversee the factory development, commercialization and initial production.

 

You guys have all been involved in the footwear industry for a while now.  Can you tell us about your backgrounds?

All four of us have different backgrounds, be we also worked for and with each other and ended up having a great deal of cross over experiences.  For example, Vlad Chovrun started working in footwear factories in Eastern Europe and eventually immigrated to the US where he primarily worked as a last expert and pattern engineer for adidas and Nike.  Gary Pitman entered the industry as a hand model maker for Nike, and eventual rose through the organization with moves to Korea and Thailand, where he helped manage various production processes. He then joined adidas, moved to Germany, where he set-up their worldwide prototyping facilities for both footwear and apparel.  Joe Piedmont started his footwear career as 2D hand drafter for adidas.  He was then promoted to be the CAD manager and oversaw the transition from hand drafting to 2D CAD to 3D modeling at adidas.  Finally, Todd Miller started his footwear career as a biomechanics research and test manager at a small company called Avia.  As his career progressed, he worked in the areas of advanced concepts, design management and eventually ended up at adidas managing the footwear prototyping department.

How have you seen the footwear industry change over the years?

When we first started in the industry, many of the established athletic footwear companies you see in the market today either didn’t exist or were just starting up.  In addition, product creation processes were very slow, inaccurate and frustrating.

For example, back in the early 90’s designers would use pen and paper to create design drawings and those drawings would be mailed to Asia.  This would initiate the slow, frustrating process of sending drawings, models, faxes, and having numerous phone call to with the goal being to create a half-pair sample that was ready for commercialization. This process could take 4 – 6 months and often, because of the communication issues and challenges to get the project correct, the designer, developer and sometimes the marketing manager would need to make a trip or sometimes two to the factory during this period.  So, as you can see, a lot of time and money was required to bring a new product to market.

This is what led the larger companies to create their own prototype facilities staffed with technical footwear people running computer driven product creation software and hardware.  These were the departments that our team developed, staffed and managed. Products could be designed and prototyped in a few weeks rather than months and the amount of travel to Asia was greatly reduced.  This allowed the industry leading companies like Nike and adidas to bring innovative product to market faster and less expensively.

Since leaving these companies, we are now helping the mid-sized and smaller companies take advantage of these technologies.

Proof of Concept is a sales partner for Delcam Crispin, a 3D software package specific to footwear.  What are some of the Delcam Crispin features that make it a unique tool for footwear design?

Yes – Delcam Crispin is one of a small number of companies who make software specifically for the footwear industry.  Footwear is different than many other consumer products in that it is required to simultaneously function as a comfortable, wearable product while still having high aesthetic appeal.  In addition, the production processes involve both flat 2d materials that are cut, stitched, and cemented and 3D components that are molded.  The Delcam Crispin software has modules and functionality that addresses all these as you design in 3D.

 How do you see 3D software / 3D printing changing the industry over the next few years?

Yes – first, there are many mid-sized to smaller companies who either aren’t aware of the 3D processes now available and the time and money they can save in the product creation process, or they are aware of them and they just haven’t made the commitment to invest and improve their procedures.  So – this is one area that 3D technologies can continue to change the industry.

A second area that is gathering momentum is the use of virtual or digital shoes in many aspects of the business.  Currently, the basis for most decision making points throughout the product creation process are physical samples. For example, when it comes making color blocking decision meetings or sales presentations to retailers or when creating images for the web or catalogs actual shoe samples are always present. However, companies that have 3d data created for product creation are realizing they can leverage these assets and create virtual samples that can be used in place of physical samples at many of these decision points.  The leading edge companies are already starting to see financial savings from these processes.

Finally, as labor and raw materials prices in Asia markets continue to climb, more and more brands are investigating the possibility of bring footwear production processes back to the US.  We expect digital technologies to also play a key role in helping this happen.

Where can designers go to try the Delcam Crispin Software?

Here is the link for Shoemaker – e software – a free version of the 3D design software:

http://www.delcam.com/intlresp/shoemaker_dl.asp

Also – here is a link with a youtube video demonstrating the software:

http://www.youtube.com/delcamcrispin

 

 Where can the community go to learn more about Proof of Concept?

Our website is www.yourproofofconcept.com.  However, fair warning, our site needs updating and within the next few months we should have a completely new and improved site.