Footwear plays a significant role in enhancing the overall appearance- as such it has great impact in the field of fashion. It symbolises not only one's fashion statement but also personal taste as well as sense of comfort.The overall increase in the demand for accessories has led to a rapid growth in the number of companies including some international players dealing with footwear production and export in India. The country ranks second among the footwear- producing nations. Besides being a fashion statement, footwear has also become a matter of health and comfort. Huge research is going on in the Orthopaedic footwear segment due to the increase in various foot-related ailments. As a result the scope for a career in the field has increased rapidly.
Designing footwear requires a blend of artistic talent and creativity. Footwear technology has come a long way from traditional shoemakers cutting and stitching leather, to specialised professionals utilising modern technology, working at high-tech laboratories, on sophisticated machines, experimenting with a varied range of materials, from leather, plastic, canvas, jute, rubber and even cloth.Footwear Designers create new styles of footwear, keeping in mind the popular demand in the markets and also the demands of individual clients. They also design footwear collections for leading footwear companies. Patterns are made and graded by them, according to which companies produce samples. Computer-aided design (CAD) systems have now made the entire process mechanised.
The footwear industry has a range of jobs and skills comprising of research and development, design, manufacturing operations, sales and marketing, quality control and management. While designers design the product, experienced technicians are required to operate the machines for manufacturing the product. Marketing involvesretail buying and selling of products to the various retail channels. To begin a career in the field, one must have at least a Diploma or a Certificate qualification in footwear design/ leather technology. However, for high profile positions, candidates must possess advanced qualifications such as graduation, post graduation or doctoral degree in footwear designing and leather technology.
Footwear Designers- as Seniors or Assistants, Footwear Buyers, Fashion Trend Analysts, Footwear Technicians, Footwear Line Builders, Production Coordinators & managers, Marketing Managers
Educational: There are different courses in this field i.e certificate, diploma, graduate and postgraduate diploma. Advanced diploma course in footwear technology requires the candidate to be a graduate in any stream or diploma holder in leather, engineering or Footwear technology. However, footwear technology courses offered as B.Tech / M.Tech programmes, are only open to science/engineering students.
Admission to most of these courses is made through entrance examinations. Duration of graduate courses such as B.Tech is generally 4 years, and for postgraduate or M.Tech programme it is 2 years. Several certificates and diploma courses are also offered by private institutes in this field and the programme duration varies from 6 months to 1 year depending upon the type of the course.