Shoemakers / sample shops

So, I’d like to get an internship in fashion footwear. But I have the impression that renders won’t be good enough as final presentations in my portfolio. I heard somebody talking about clay models, but I would prefer the real thing so I can do a little photo shoot of a person wearing it. While I’m waiting for answers here, I’d like to see what other options I have.

Any advice on finding local shoemakers or sample shops?
I’m based in London. (and Belgium every now and then)

Thanks in advance!

I’d think to DIY it. Or go to a high end custom shoe maker. Have them whip something up ($$$$$). I’d think that you could make one shoe then find some that are accommodating to the model and Photoshop the one you made in.

Doing it myself would be quite hard without tools, it’s also nicer to take the real thing to a possible interview. This way I can take a real picture too. But yeah, if it turns out to be unaffordable then this is the way to go.
Could you advise me some makers or where to look for them?


I’ve never seen anyone bring a self-made sample to a footwear interview. If you did do footwear design in school or for some project, and have a sample or model you’ve made I think that would be sufficient in addition to your drawings/sketches.

I don’t think any employer would expect you to go and make samples of your stuff, though it might be impressive if done well…


Edited out as I misread your post

If you are in the UK and want a fashion footwear internship in the uk, then I’d imagine that it’ll be really hard without a footwear qualification. Pretty much all the jobs I see advertised in the UK ask for a footwear degree, I guess we are different to other countries in that there are many footwear courses available and employers are more likely to expect you to have studied one.

I would reccommend you at least consider a part time footwear course at Cordwainers, you have to remember that you will be competing against lots of footwear graduates for internships.

Sure you can get a shoemaker to make samples for you, I have contacts. Expect to pay £150 upwards. I think this could help you, possibly. The shoemaker might let you watch them and learn some of the process, which could be helpful in your interview.

I have taken an intern on with no footwear design qualifications, though. She came to us when she was still at school for two weeks internship (we worked with a local school). So outstanding was she, we gave her a job on graduation and we paid for her to study nightschool at Cordwainers to learn all of the technical side of things.

Thanks for the replies guys!
I already did part 1 of that short course and I nearly finished the book “Introduction To The Modern Footwear Technology”.
I was thinking that it would be better and cheaper to continue with an internship rather than the summer course or part 2 of that short course.

The BFI already gave me some contacts, but they’re not London based so it would be hard to give and get explanations in person:
Anna Paola Pascuzzi,footwear designer,designer shoe, shoe design, shoe development, shoe making, shoes , sandals, mules, slippers, fashion shoes, fashion, footwear design, last design, heel design, upper design, ankle strap sandals, platform shoe, mary jane, leather, derbyplating,mocassin, loafer, foot, ballerina, flattie,instep, fitting,sample set, sample collection, sample, goatskin, kidskin, spring summer collection, autumn winter collection, heel seat, vamp, boot, model, nappa, derby ankle boot,toe end, satin, reptile, high shoe, low shoe, laced shoe, shoe with elastic, ballet shoe, tango shoe, ceremonial shoe, evening shoe, street shoe, thigh boot, insole, half boot, shoe lace, flared heel, Louis heel, cone-shaped heel, reel heel, stiletto heel, wedge, covered heel, box calf, velvet, patent leather,suede calf hunting suede, clog, accessoriesshoe making,footwear industries, art of shoe making pump, ballerina, strap, quarter of the shoe, high heel, bow, sherbety sandals, peep toe, spuntato, sfilato, pointed toe, rounded toe, upper, vamp, brushed effect on leather, collection, calf, kidskin, goat, accessories, lasts, forme, heels, tacchi, upper design, footwear design, shoe design, shoes, footwears, collection, sketches (Rome) plus some for men’s in Northamptonshire.
Extra contacts would be highly appreciated!

Well you’re clearly doing all the right things - check your pms for some contacts.

I think you might be surprised by how simple most shoes are once you take them apart. Find a source for outdoor or specialty fabrics, find a shoe that is similar to a design you have, keep the soles and build your own uppers using the uppers of the shoe you disassembled as a rough guide. Stitch or glue the uppers to the soles, and I think you’ll surprise yourself what you can make on an industrial sewing machine with some focus, patience, and the right materials.


Ive stumbled across your comment. I own a small handmade shoemaking company. We have two designer labels which we are trying to promote but we make everything in our factory in london and there are four of us who contribute to making the shoes. As our orders have been increasing we are starting to look at finding interested interns to come and learn to make shoes with us with the prospect of permanent employment. Would this be something you were interested in? We are based in Southgate.



Nick, I’m always looking for new contacts because I get lots of enquiries for shoemakers. Check your private messages.

Well this turned out great for the OP.

Dansercoer, will you be taking the position?

Thank you all for your help!
I’ve sent a PM to Nick.