Are you curious about how a Livie & Luca shoe is born? How that first inspiration is transformed into the final product? Well here is the story and journey of Luz, part of our Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Luz was inspired by a pair of precious Christening shoes belonging to Amie’s grandfather. Gramps’ shoes were simple, sweet and carried a personal connection for us here at Livie & Luca. They were the inspiration for the whole Spring/Summer 2013 line, a collection based on cherished memorabilia and memories.
After seeing the shoes we get to work on the first part of the design, creating a series of rough sketches. Assistant designer, Emily Hagan, likes to draw them on tracing paper so that after each sketch she can lay the paper over the first sketch and make slight changes. This allows her to put down all of our ideas in a short amount of time. For every pair of shoes we design we probably create 20 of these quick sketches before we move on to the technical drawings. During this period the design team also discusses textiles and color that will best suit the shoe.
Once we start working on the tech sheets, we often have to make further adjustments. We take many things into consideration with each shoe, not just its personal story and its aesthetic, but of course, its functionality and comfort. Sometimes the most aesthetically pleasing version is not the most comfortable or functional and so we go back to the drawing board to figure out how to keep what we love about the shoe, but make it as comfortable as possible.
We send the completed tech sheets to the factory and they begin work on developing the patterns. The factory makes a series of prototypes with the shoe in the initial color we proposed and then we’ll often make several versions tweaking the colors until the shoe is just right.
The photo shoot for the catalogue comes next, using our most successful prototype. The design process up to this point usually takes about four months.
When the colors are perfect, we move on to fit testing and durability, which takes about two months.
Some shoes will go through several rounds of fit adjustments in order to get the perfect fit. Our fit testers are local children ranging from babies to 9 years old. After the fit is approved, the shoe is finally ready for production.
We place an order with the factory and production is completed in around three months. The shoes are shipped to our warehouse in Alabama, which takes 3-4 weeks. And finally you, dear customer, place an order and the shoes make their last leg of a year-long journey!