Q: So, now you're a shoe designer ? Ha amateur!
Possibly but not necessarily! “The Huaraches” have been in my sketchbook for six years. I designed them in 2009, before Vintage Artisan ever existed. The idea didn't just hit me overnight nor was it created overnight. It's one that has always circled in the back of my mind and I've always been eager to bring it to life. Although the concept of shoemaking seemed impossible and completely overwhelming, I never stopped thinking of a way to eventually bring it into production. I now see that this has been in the making for six years because “The Huaraches” were truly meant to be launched as a VA product—everything has happened so organically!
February 2014 was a slow month, a “production month”, and I had too much time on my hands. I was beginning to get anxious and anticipation was at it's all time high. I decided to take a stroll through memory lane by looking through pages of my old sketchbook. I came across a sketch that at the time I considered to be unachievable-- “The Huarache”. I immediately knew that it was time to act and bring this sketch to life. I started to research shoemakers and the shoemaking process for days on end. I finally came across an affiliate of Nike Corporate who had posted about his fascination with similar types of shoes and after reaching out to him he pointed me in the direction of a shoemaker in Mexico. I was looking in all the wrong places like Italy, New York and China!
“Mexico for Huaraches”, I was told.
It seemed so obvious and in reality it was the first place I should have looked. A six year-old idea was beginning to feel a lot more like a tangible possibility. Yes very amateur, but none the less glory was on its way! I was so incredibly excited because finally an obstacle, with no language barrier, was ahead of me. After extensive googling, I found a “Master Huarachero”, who was retired but decided to still reach out.
We got in contact and before I knew it production was on its way. The “Master Huarachero” was known as the master, because he was the first person to make Huaraches with laces and transform them into a dress shoe by attaching a wooden platform. We spoke about my sketch and he said his career got started after creating his version and blessed me by saying it would only be right if he worked with me to create my version. So it happened... 6 years and 3 months later my design became a manifestation!
So in conclusion, yes I am an amateur perhaps not quite yet worthy of the title “shoe designer” but the launch of “The Huarache” is my key into breaking into yet another facet of design and creativity!