Footwear Designer

Job Description:

Footwear designers create new designs and sample patterns for footwear.

Job Category:
Art & Fashion

What you will do:

You could work in:

  • high-end fashion (known as ‘haute couture’)
  • designer ready-to-wear
  • high street fashion

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • creating ‘one off’ designs (haute couture)
  • basing your designs on a theme for the coming season (ready-to-wear, high street)
  • using computer aided design (CAD) software, graphics packages and traditional hand-drawing techniques to create your designs
  • researching design ideas
  • following a brief
  • adapting existing designs
  • working closely with the design team
  • producing samples before agreeing the final design
  • sending technical instructions to the manufacturers to produce the final product


You’ll need:

  • drawing skills and the ability to use computer design software
    design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptable)
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • the ability to visualise designs & creativity
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You’ll usually need a relevant degree that teaches both design and technical skills perhaps qualifications in footwear design, or a fashion design qualification that includes footwear.

Paid or unpaid work experience will give you an advantage when looking for work.

You’ll also need to put together a portfolio of work that you can take along to interviews. This should include designs, technical drawings and mood boards to show your creative talents.

You could start as a design assistant before progressing to become a designer.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll often work long hours and at weekends in order to meet deadlines – like at the launch of a new collection.

You may travel for research, like visiting art galleries, trade shows or to places or countries linked to a theme.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience within a company, you could progress to senior designer, design director or head of department.

You could also become a freelance designer, employed by companies to work on specific projects, or become self-employed and launch your own collection.