Development of a RTW line

Well, it is a long story. I have been planning to release a ready-to-wear line since I realized, that there are more and more interest for it – it was like 2 years ago. I have made plenty steps, but I just never felt comfortable with the results – it is hard to explain. I wasn’t happy with the upper lines, the form, the technology – whatever worked great with the bespoke orders, somehow just didn’t show appropriate on the model, what I wanted to “mass produce”…  So anyway, I made my bespoke orders, and regularly develop a little bit on the last – that was definitely the OMG category… the hardest thing.

Last development

I wanted to start from a stock last and make some alterations with it… until I realized, thats tock last are created to factory use. What does it mean? Lack of comfort. Shortly. A bit longer: plenty small details which make the bespoke shoes better and more comfy. So I asked a last maker to give me a “blank last” to create my own style, then I face a problem – I need someone with a regular 43 size foot, not too wide, not too narrow, not too muscular, and no foot disease at all. So Every time I had a guest in my workshop, I asked him kindly to try a 43 (stock) shoes on, so he can tell his opinion about the fit. Then I found the right person. Young guy, just similar to my target market. Great. So go ahead, and make him some shoes, so he can test them! (lucky guy, isn’t he? 🙂 ) So I created the first shoes – pretty well fit, but the lines were still not good, somehow.. strange… then I found the solution.. in a 110 years old book! Unbelievable. It was just talking about my problems. Clearly my problems. Taking the fact that I won that book on an auction a year ago (it is a pretty rare piece, and only a few left), I should have check it before… my fault. Anyway: Those details were really useful! I realised something – shoemaking principals… at least some of them ,what I learned as axioms.. they aren’t. Shocking. I learned some of those thing, like sentences from the Holy Bible, and now I had to accept that some old guys wanted to change them a long time ago – without success. Anyway: shoemaking traditions are different in every countries. Hungarian traditions are pretty well preserved, you can still find materials, professionals – and some theories, which aren’t true. I don’t want to get into the details, for many reasons, but with my newly acquired knowledge I went to my favorite last factory, and made a consultation with the great team there – the we started to make those changes. Some of them went pretty easily, some of them must have been repeated till they believed that I really want that. I did. 3-4 turns and the last was ready. Then one more, and it was really ready. 🙂 (maybe I should stop now, but I just realized a few changes…  so that is the reason my RTW line is coming so slooooow)

Materials

There are some dilemmas: should I use a little bit cheaper materials, like everybody does? But I don’t like to deal with the quality. It is important for me. All of my shoes are printed with my beloved grandfather name – they shouldn’t be second grade quality… and anyway I say “made like bespoke” and “every piece is a masterpiece” I believe in it. So… no. I will use the same materials than the bespoke pieces have – JR soles, welt, stiffeners, heels, etc. so I can sleep well about it. Anyway – what is the reason, why factories use cheap stuff? The reason called “liquid capital”… I hope it is the right term. So, they need to keep a certain amount of money in materials – expensive materials, more money, more cost, which can be covered with a bank loan, but that also cost money. So if they produce 1000 pairs per day (which is not even a big factory), and they have supply delivery every week – every dollar they save per pair means 1000 USD less cost, bigger income. Then just count: a big factory, much cheaper materials (so I am not talking about 1 USD, but much more, which comes from the huge gap between the real leather and the cheap stuff… ). So even this factory can save thousands on interest per year – not talking about the better sales, because of the cheaper prices.

Koronya Shoes will contain the best available materials, and let me explain why: because I will make them onto orders and I won’t keep a big stock, cos I don’t need, due my small capacity.

Patterns

After so much hesitation I decided to use only a few, really classic models and some limited series. That’s it.

Market

I really cannot provide shoes for many stores – I decided to choose one: in New York, Manhattan. As a matter of fact I am still looking for a store – so if you know any, please do not hesitate to contact me…

At the first few month I believe that my shoes will be available as made to order, then if I can step ahead – ready stuff.

Here I am now. Not completed this job, but close to it.

4 thoughts on “Development of a RTW line”

  1. I sincerely hope there will be an opportunity to purchase the shoes directly from you, or elsewhere in Europe (ideally London) – there would be irony in them going across the Atlantic and back if I were to purchase a pair.

  2. Will there be only a men’s rtw line, or will you consider also a women’s line? I am thinking of oxfords, rather like men’s, only more delicate and of course a somewhat different shape.

  3. Wonderful idea! It is sad that everything has become disposable. I would really love a pair of women’s oxfords with a perfectly straight inside toe line, narrow heel and the heel no more than 1/2 inch high. Oh yes, and I need a size 43, but with a narrower heel cup than for a man’s shoe.

    I have collected a number of lasts and am working on a pair now that I carved, but it is difficult to come up with something that fits well, but then I have been learning all these new skills. Meanwhile I wear Vibram Five Fingers as they are so comfortable.

    I have really been loving all your posts and have learned a lot. Thank you for all your inspirations.

  4. If you are looking for a store to carry your line of shoes you should look up leffot located in the west village district of manhattan. Steve there has very good taste in what he selects to be sold in his store and he already carries a line of handmade shoes from england, maybe he could use a line from Hungary.

    DN

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