InSoul - Dress Sneakers (Canceled)
When you combine sneakers with dress shoes, you get DRESS SNEAKERS. Hand made by the finest craftsman.
Above is a video from the TV show TakePart Live on the Pivot Network. InSoul Footwear was invited on to discuss our Dress Sneaker. Great exposure for our project.
InSoul is a brand that celebrates the evolution of shoes/sneakers. The brand's core stems from American Sports styling but aspires to compete with the detailing of a wealthy italian brand. The line is all about details (leathers, linings, laces, eyelets, stitching, etc...). The shoe shapes are understandable.
The name InSoul is an obvious play on the word "insole" but spelled "soul" to embrace the tie between music culture and the sneaker culture. Hip Hop music is currently associated with sneaker culture but InSoul seeks to celebrate the "soul music" that many artists take their inspiration from (samples). Using this foundation will hopefully give kids and their parents common ground to enjoy the brand's product and lifestyle.
About 5 years ago I reached out to a friend who worked at an expensive dress shoe factory and asked them to make me a sneaker using all of the quality and craftsmanship they used on the dress shoes. I wanted the shoes to appear like a sneaker at the first glance, but at a second look see the details were actually hand made by an authentic quality shoe maker.
The colors and material inspiration are drawn from the evolution of photography and television. The base colors reflect on sepia tones (browns, oranges, cremes) and the grey spectrum referencing black and white timeless imagery.
Product Creation & Manufacturing Plan:
Although complex by nature, our manufacturing plan is quite simple to execute. We have partnered with a small family owned and operated factory. They have been with us from the inception of our project, crafting our initial development prototypes and beautiful sales samples. We have negotiated pre-payment terms in order to manufacture our initial production runs. Together we have agreed to keep production order quantities smaller to ensure quality craftsmanship standards and traditional shoemaking techniques are used to assemble each and every pair of InSoul dress sneakers.
Design Phase (sketching, materials, and colors)
1st step was to define the brand direction and design the shoes. Our goal was to keep the general look of a classic and timeless sneaker, but replace all components with dress shoe details. Sounds easy however this took a lot more exploration that we had anticipated. We try to spend more time on sketching to avoid excessive sampling costs.
1st Round Prototypes
A huge milestone to reach, 1st round prototypes were our first opportunity to see our beautifully illustrated 2-dimentional concept become a product in hand. We had already made the decision to execute development with a small dress shoe factory because their thorough understanding of the subtleties needed to make these samples more than just another pair of sneakers. Our 1st round wasn’t far from our mark. Upon review we made a few major changes and several detailed revisions, ultimately investing in another development round.
2nd Round Prototypes
The completion of our 2nd round prototypes was a huge success. Our initial requested revisions were executed without flaw. Pattern proportions were corrected, details precisely executed, general esthetics were achieved, and the overall fit and comfort were completed. We felt confident moving forward with our desired 3 color ways.
If all goes well, Kickstarter will help us raise enough money to order the minimum first round of production (1000 pairs total). We will pre-pay the factory for the raw materials, labor, packaging, and shipping. The factory will then proceed to order the raw materials. This could take up to 12 weeks before all parts are received. Once in hand the project managers will schedule production space in the factory. We plan to meet with the team to view pre-production samples for final approval.
Production of the 1000 pairs can take up to 30 days to complete due to the smaller factory size and the nature of hand made shoes. Next we will be in the shipping phase. The shoes will arrive in the United States approximately 45-60 day later. Upon arrival we will have to ensure that our product can clear customs.
Our team will personally pick and process each pair of shoes purchased. We will ship each customer their order via USPS or Fed Ex and will email everyone specific tracking numbers for their records. The process maybe labor intensive but will be the most exciting part for our team.
We ask everyone to please make a pledge so we can afford to get production started which will ultimately give our brand a chance to get off the ground. We will then be able to further pursue building this brand from the bottom up and push to provide the footwear industry with a diverse product that speaks to US, the consumer, for all occasions in our lives. Thank You for Your Support!
Risks and challenges
There are always risks and challenges when launching a new project from the ground up, however my small team is well experienced with strong backgrounds in the footwear industry.
The KEY ingredient missing for this project to become reality is the financial support. Our biggest obstacle is the fact that we need to pre-pay our small factory in order for 1st round production runs to be started. With your pledges and support here on Kickstarter we can make this happen. We WILL reach our goals, pre-pay our small factory and launch the original DRESS SNEAKERS by InSoul Footwear.
And just a reminder for all our backers: If we don't raise the funds enough to meet our GOAL, our project WON'T receive any of the partial funding.....Kickstarter is ALL or NOTHING!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (46 days)