It’s rare I get excited by my own work but I literally jumped for joy when I saw these mock ups for the new sandals I’m designing! I cannot wait to get these into the hands of my style mavens, shoot the instruction manual and start taking orders!
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The story behind the concept…
The sandals base is a ReGenesis of a traditional Caribbean design. I remember the original from my “Rasta” Uncle, handcrafted from leather and various layers of rubber soling. Leather they were available commercially in an acrylic sole and lace straps. I’ve wanted a version since 1000-2000 for use in my wrap show presentation. However no one I asked ever got them right, so at the beginning of this year I set about creating them in a crochet version with the intent of using ribbon straps. Since then they have evolved to 3 core versions, targeting 3 differing price-points. I am now working at designing “accessories” to extend the options! Seeing them in the images crystalized them as a “product”! Now I’m looking at the business behind them… the why!
Thus far I’ve committed 60 hours of work prototyping on these sandals alone. Why;- well I want a pair of “convertible sandals for a while, I like to change things around… and having 30 pairs of shoes just is not my thing! I created what I could not “find”. Now that they exist I’m looking at a bigger picture. I believe in local cottage production. I believe that creating revenue models to feed “villages” stimulates the economy. When “real” people have income they spend.
It’s not just the sandals though, in the first stage of this initiative, I’m revisiting the flat wraps and convertibles from my past collections working them and creating prototypes for a line of simple scarves and convertible garments called Wraps. This Caribbean aesthetic is perfect for a hot NY summer or any tropical climate and it’s not just head wraps or cover-ups. They are designed to “convert” easily and as such, they’re great for Tops, Dresses, Pants, Accessories and even swimwear that can “take you from the office to the parties and even the occasional summer wedding!
But they are structurally designed to accommodate the work of local artisans and crafters. “It’s a wrap” is not just a show, but rather a community movement to support local artisans! By allowing others to use the prototypes, I cut overheard. Instead of each designer committing an average of$45-$1000 to prototype a design this one production cost is distributed. In the end they all contribute and the consumer benefits with an affordable fairly price locally produced option. Further I can then look at technology in all aspects of this supply chain.
It’s also a proof of concept- that of distributed production for the local cottage sector that burrows heavily from the old “mascamp” method of production in my native TT.