On my first visit to the shoe fair, my questions focused on the shoe last shape, production quantities and private label. I didn’t realise until my second time, that most manufacturers bring samples of leather and colour options with them – ie I wasn’t going to have to source that myself (a huge relief). When I visited the factory, the dyed skins could be seen heaped over racks at the cutting tables – they are still vaguely cow shaped, though that shouldn’t be a surprise.
The buying quantities for colours can be high. This is partly driven by the number of pairs you can get from a single skin – the factory will not want to take the wastage left over if you only ask for 4 pairs but a skin can do 8; the factory leftover is unlikely to be used by anyone else, and has to be costed into the shoe price pro rate. Also, any unusual or trend-driven colour may be bespoke dyed at the tannery (eg petrol or burnt orange), and it may not be economical to set up the dying process for just one skin, or in a shade that the tanneries can’t guarantee to sell beyond the current season beyond the quantity of your order. So it’s critical that I establish early on, through trial sales, the likelihood of my being able to sell coloured shoes and boots in sufficient quantities to make the risk commercially viable.
|Foot length (inches)||8.8||9.1||9.3||9.6||9.8||10.1||10.3|
|Foot length (cms)||22.5||23||23.6||24.3||24.9||25.5||26.2|
More detailed sizing information available on our sizing page