my shoes are in a final state of the production and selling process, as for pay I get an hourly payment now. I am not under a contract for when my shoes come out. I have a question. i have a meeting with my boss to discuss my shoes to being manufactored. How should i do this? how much do i ask for now if my shoes is going to be in the stores soon (couple months). and do i ask for royalties…or wht. should I have done this before (talked about a price for my shoes if manufactored) but I dunno. I never thought this would be happening. and i have also done 5 outsoles. how does that work as they are being manufactored also.

shoe workers out there I need some help. and now that I am producing shoes and doing alot more production aswell as development does the money change also???

URGENT…also realize that I have been in the biz for a year, you can check out some of my old stuff at

I’m confused by your questions… but I’m guessing you feel that your are doing the work of three to five poeple and are not getting paid for it…

Usually that price is worked out in advance, for a specific fee for a specific length of time. For example, if you had a contract you could have asked for a percentage of the wholesale price per pair or a specific fee per pair sold at wholesale (ie $.50 per pair sold wholesale). But changing now could be very sketchy from a production and finacial standpoint. Its tough to justify because the costs of production are factored into the projected wholesale sales, so your request would throw a huge financial wrench into the gears. If you are on a hourly rate you could try and leverage it, but I have yet to see someone do this successfully after their shoes have gone into production.

when you say “you are doing production as well” what do you mean? Are you actually stitching and soling the shoes?

just to clearify, i am doing all teh concept sketching then i am talking it and adjusting the pattern for production by labeling and specing all teh details, and then i am also doing all teh samples,and working with the sample rooms in china. and for the outsoles i am doing all teh drawings and looking at the wooden and rubber molds and adjusting them and doing alot of the work. i am more then just a pattern maker, i guess i am saying. i am doing a multi team job.

sorry my questions are wied, i just dont know how to word it so that i dont say to much and grt in trouble.

thank you

ok, you have the typical responsibilities of a footwear designer. Sounds like you are also acting like a Developer too, which in some cases is also expected. If this is your first season doing footwear, you are doing well. Not much you can do about your rate right now as you are not really doing anything out of the ordinary for a footwear designer; however later on you can use the development experience you are getting to leverage a greater rate/fee/retainer/cut of profits etc.

See how well your designs perform in the market, and use that performance to get yourself abetter paycheck, and dont talk about next season without securing a better rate for yourself, you have to convince them that you deserve it. Its really about experience and your designs track record. Did you provide a better ROI? Did you improve their market share? Did you innovate something for them?

you’ll get there, sounds like you have a really freakin great start.

It has been a fast start everything just started and happend so quickly. I am still trying to unpack bags from china, and load up my back pack for school. I am in development and designer…they do fo hand in hand i guess. I just feel like as a developer you need to know alot more about production and materials, and i feel like a lot of designers are just drawing pretty shapes without realizing production and development. I have designed 3 injection outsoles and they being tested in germany now, and I have also done a air outole, that is uing new technology that i designed, cant talk about it, but like hell i wish i could show it,i love it. It is very frustrating for me though because I have a lot of ideas, i will do like 15-20 uppers a day…on good days…hahaha. and then I show them and are discussed and well what i am trying to say is I feel like alot of my designs should be out but my boss tells me its too fast and to know my market…I think that has been a hard transition for me is designing for a market, and not for myself as much.

thank you soo much for your comments…

I think is has to do alot with the trend thing. All these trend setters trying to dictate the market rather than the consumers. There are 7 billion people on this planet. Learn as much as you can about the business side of the shoe industry not just the creative side beacuse you already have that. I am sure that if you design what you have thought out, and it is original, authentic, and one of a kind, and cool people will buy. It will be slow at first but soon you will have a following and manufacturers will take notice of your designs. Who knows, you might even start your own company in the near future.

setting trends and finding the right trends for a certain time, it can be difficult, especially for a young pup like myself. people my age like one thing one day and then not the next. I have thought about starting my own design firm, that would do a lot of shoe design out scourcing. I have thought about it, but what will be come of a bunch of starving designers, who are looking for jobs all in one complex, it could be fetal, but i would like to keep an open mind, anything is possible.

haha- funny.

I think this was my first post on core…


Care to give us an update on where you are now?..seeing as though two years have pasted?

Hope all is well!

working on a couple things:

working full time at Kenneth Cole

Freelance for 4 jobs currently

working out a deal to sign with a athletic company in Portland. I will have more for you in a couple days.

thanks for asking-

and still in school- but finally this is my last semester.


Way to go, proud of you. Hard work pays off. Congrats.

thanks skinny- I remember Pm’n you way back in the day asking for advice, you and Yo. I really appreciate your and everyones help along the way.

I am here and at school trying to give back and help many as well.

I believe in that strongly that if you workhard good is bound to happen, and you have to be patient and make sacrifices.

also something my basketball coach told us one day during a practice and I use this for all things.

“hussle beats talent if talent doesn’t hussle”

meaning if you feel you are not the most talented and you let that bring you down then you have lost, but if you just keep pushing and work your ass off you can win. also to add to that if you are really talented and you just soak in that and dont try to push yourself then you can be beaten.

ok enough preach’n


word? you are definitely on your grind cousin. i NEED to be on that same wavelength…hope things go your way!

That is so so true - I know so many designers who have tried /are trying to make it as a freelance and they are starving for work. But when you speak to them, or work with them and see how they are to work with, you can see why they are starving.

I passed some work onto a freelancer in Spetember, I knew they hadn’t worked for months. They didn’t even call me to say thanks. When our paths finally crossed again I asked about the work - they whinged - ‘but it was only for three weeks.’ Us Buddhists call it a ‘complaining attitude’ - it doesn’t get you anywhere. If you treat everyone with the same respect, be they a four hour job, or a three week one, you will do well. If you do a great job, that four hour job, could soon become a long term contract.

Grab every opportunity with both hands, be enthusiastic about everything. Don’t be too picky. I know many of the posters here would love to work at Nike but, I also know people in the trade who worked at places you may not even consider first, before they got their dream job. I learnt as much when I was doing own label volume for supermarkets as when I was making $300 shoes.

I agree with Shoenista- about the Dream Job. I think it is great to work up to getting that Dream Job. Because I feel that you will understand and appreciate it more. Or maybe by working up to it you find yourself going in a new direction and it doesnt become your dream anymore.

But as a student I would say try and do many internships so that you can see first hand what it is like, and make your own judgements. This might help you see a reality in what you thought was your dream job might not really be what you think it is. So maybe better to get a glimpse of it before you go all out to try and get it.

On the freelance subject. Freelance is rough and from my experiences all “word a mouth” and friends putting you on. but def. you want to keep up your rep. with the work and esp. in the footwear world where its pretty small asfar as many people knows everyone, so word can spread.

But just having a complaining attitude over things when you need work isnt going to get you very far. But at a certain level of a freelancer if the price isnt what you work at, I have heard people turning it down. But a “starving” freelancer would fig. pick up the job an run with it hoping to get more after the job.


wow, hi mark…sounds like you are really up to your eyeballs!

regarding your above question, i would say that as a freelancer, in my experience (on both sides of the table) a royalty type of contract is not normal. i wouldnt suggest it.

for sure, usually a contractg would be worked out before hand, to determine the scope, involvement and financial aspects of any project. something like 5 concepts, such and such kind of sketches/drawings, revisions, XXX$$.

As for shoes going to production, im not really sure what kind of “discussion” you will be having with your boss… i assume you are not talking about how they actually are produced, but again more about your involvement. as a freelancer, i dont think you would have any.

hope this helps answer your questions.

good luck on the new opportunity!



R- Hey thanks for the feedback- I was up to nt eyeballs confused back then. I posted those questions 2 yrs ago. because of spam the post came back up.

I have learned my lessons with the freelance over the years- But thank you again for your input, always great to hear and always trying to learn more.


R- Hey thanks for the feedback- I was up to my eyeballs confused back then. I posted those questions 2 yrs ago. because of spam the post came back up.

I have learned my lessons with the freelance over the years- But thank you again for your input, always great to hear and always trying to learn more.


haha. didnt even notice the date, but thought that your posts sounded a little strange since we last spoke and things seemed more together…


Its all good- I will email tonight and catch things up.

hope all is well-