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Shoe Design For Beginners

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Marion Rhoades, Matthew Damsel, Havva Mustafa


Shoes have always been an integral part of any fashion story, reflecting the influences and moods of the time. In this introductory course you will learn the fundamental shoe design techniques. You will create a three dimensional mock up of your chosen design. This will be part of a mini design project that will illustrate the interactive nature of footwear design and fashion.

Topics covered

  • a history of footwear
  • an introduction to the last (the mould the shoe is formed around)
  • the essential techniques used in drawing and designing different types of footwear
  • presentation techniques and bottom construction design including sock and sole
  • theory regarding the different upper materials and edge treatments that can be integrated into your design ideas
  • the various constructions used in the making process in the footwear industry

Entry requirements: You must have basic understanding of spoken English due to the technicalities and processes of this course

Level: Beginners

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Marion Rhoades is an accessories designer specialising in footwear and jewellery. With a degree in fashion illustration and design Marion went on to use these skills to design women’s footwear for luxury brands such as Anya Hindmarch. In this role Marion learnt all of her technical knowledge from the floors of the exceptional factories in Italy in Milan and Venice. Working with these expert artisans and craftsmen, Marion created hundreds of collections for the brand for a decade. She now consults for other luxury brands designing and teaching on the 3DDA pathway of the Foundation degree at Central Saint Martins.

Matthew is a footwear designer with extensive experience in trend forecasting, design development and factory experience in Europe, India and the Far East, presenting range ideas to director level within the footwear retail industry.After completing a certificate in Footwear Production at Cordwainers he worked designing for Ted baker @ Pentland shoes, branching into trend forecasting in the role within a small team. Further to this he headed a very successful men’s footwear team at River Island where he extended his knowledge in trend forecasting and design development. He has been running his own design consultancy for around 8 years where he works with many branded clients in both men’s and ladies’ footwear, targeting demographics from high end luxury to basic retail. Currently he contracts for an Italian supplier based in Hong Kong managing the range building and product development of formal, casual and lifestyle product lines for the UK market servicing the majority of the high street - Topman/Next/Zara/River Island/Debenhams/Office.

Havva Mustafa was born into a family of third generation footwear artisans and designers, and growing up with the curious shapes of patterns, lasts and heels evoked an interest and passion for footwear from a very early age. Havva followed in her fathers footsteps and studied at the prestigious Cordwainers Footwear College in London. Developing strong technical skills and graduated with a degree in footwear design and construction, she spent several years in the footwear industry  gaining valuable experience in design, development and resourcing roles. She has now developed and launched her own brand HAVVA.


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • 1 inch roll of masking tape
  • A3 or A4 sketch pad
  • Pencil or Retractable Pencil and Rubber
  • A camera would be useful but not essential

Available dates