This past October our creative director and designer, Nicholas Wlodarczyk, travelled to southern China for his first bi-annual trip to meet with the people who make his designs a reality and to oversee production firsthand. The center of production is Dongguan. Dongguan is a city based completely on the shoe production industry. Production in China over the last few years has changed as companies seeking cheaper production move further south and west, and with many European fashion houses finding it harder to source qualified people in their own countries, has allowed China to change its image when it comes to quality. Many smaller and quality manufacturers are springing up across the nation, and especially in Dongguan.
Nicholas experienced what it takes to create his designs. Shoes are not a simple object to make. Every part of a shoe has a different supplier, from the leather to tanning to soles, laces, even the materials that hold a shoe together. Many people aid the making of a shoe.
ar-czyk is created by hand in a small factory lead by Mr Gee, a fantastic Chinese national who knows everything there is to know about the design and creation of footwear products.
While abroad our designer was privileged to visit a few suppliers such as the leather markets, where he started to gather leather and fabric inspiration for our next season, Winter 2015. The leather market is an extraordinary place where anything you can imagine they will have. The intoxicating smell of leather whiffs through the corridors creating an exotic and inspiring atmosphere and experience.
Truly an inspiring experience.