Day at Work: Shoe Designer

My name is Fabio and DZR shoes and I’m the marketing director of the company and a co-founder and… And I’m Shane I am the product designer and we started DZR together in 2010. The idea came from Shane many years ago and
nobody really believed in this combination of a sneaker and a cycling shoe. I think it was just a need. You know when I was in the office I had all
these friends that use to cycle to the office that had SPDs on their bikes. I thought it made sense to make something that was casual, but also performance ranked. A normal shoe um…has a fairly flexible sole and a bike shoe has usually some kind of a reinforcement shank. Yea the cleats that we have at the bottom of the shoe that’s an option. You can cut out the outsole and attach the cleat. and then you’re gonna be completely attached to the pedals and in that area the shoes are particularly stiffer. And so, they transfer a lot of power. So the design process is actually different depending on what kind of company you’re in. If you’re in a small company… um, like for us… it can be a little bit less formal… and less structure… but, you get a briefing, um, from the marketing or… from product managers. And, basically gives you… um.. price points… kind of a general direction for the type of market and then maybe perhaps materials or colors or some sort of basic directions. And then, you… go crazy. You start brainstorming you sketch you maybe go out for a walk and go to some stores or look at some magazines and get some ideas. And then, ah, from the sketch you bring them into renderings and you do your presentation. So the shading will add a little bit of depth into the lacing… to the heel cuff. After the renderings, we go to prototypes where you actually make a 3D model and you choose specific materials you work on the pattern. We actually have our own prototyping facility in China. And… we were really close. I mean I’ll get down on there on the sewing machine with them sometimes. After the prototype we make your refinements usually there is around three or four um cycles of refinements and changes. “Alright, guys.” “Did the jetlag…” “in all black.” “Oh in all black.” “Nice huh” “Yea…” “So simple.” “So now here’s a question…” “black with brown?” “or black with black?” “I just think black and brown…” “is generally” “a…” “men’s fashion” “thing.” “We’ll we’ll search some more for women’s.” “I think I don’t… I’m not convinced about this.” I love that our job is actually to bike. You have to use the product to know what you’re trying to invent. I was a professional a…. rider before, a cyclist and in the meantime I was at universities studying architecture So, I have kinda a technical background. I can sketch. I can use my my you know my drawings to explain and you know communicate with designers. I actually went for went to school for product design over in arts center in LA. But before that I was an engineer. So I always liked to build things. I also liked to do a lot of crafts and painting and art. So, it kinda just was a perfect melt. I find math still very useful. From planning out our inventory to how we are going to layout our warehouse space. We need to figure out what percentage of the product is made out of this leather what percentage made out of this leather. And, ah you know I’ve used a lot of mathematical equations to figure this stuff out. In my previous jobs, I had in the sports industry I was like… part of the development and I kinda decided to learn something new. And, getting this marketing adventure, which is good for me because I become a social person. There’s all different types of designers. I’ve seen people who are … fantastic communicators and they are sort of mediocre sketchers. Often times in like groups like this um.. they don’t have the ego of being so brilliant that they can work together with somebody else. And so that, also can uh bring up amazing ideas It was possible because of our passion for cycling biking with my products which is exciting because basically you have an idea… you know what you need and then you create it. You’re going to be able to touch your ideas and they become real. There’s always somebody who thinks your ideas is not going to work. I think that’s probably the hardest part about getting started with a product is… you know, have the confidence to just keep going forward. you know, have the confidence to just keep going forward.

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