J.FitzPatrick Footwear Blog

September 21, 2016

Written by , Posted in J.FitzPatrick Footwear

Samples- where the inspiration starts



Dear All,

Hope you are having a great week.

Many of you may or may not know how long it takes to come up with the model that you see in each Ready to wear collection. It is a long process from an idea that Justin has sketched on a piece of paper to the finished article available to buy online or in store.

When I worked on Savile Row and Jermyn St in previous jobs, being part of Management I got to see alot of how the design teams came up with garments ready for a collection which could be a year and a half away but that was the fun part. I got to see many samples of clothing which were sometimes purely amazing for my own personal taste but not necessarily a commercially viable choice but then on the other hand I saw some garments which, to me were awful but made it into the collection as the ‘showpiece’ item, its all very subjective.

Now I have joined the JF team we do a similar thing but with shoes I find it much more fun and interesting. A big part of creating a collection revolves not only around what we think our clients will like but also coming up with new things that perhaps had never been thought of.

We have a wall of shoe designs which Justin has sketched over the years (see below) and takes inspiration from and its from there that the fun begins when making samples in different leathers, fabrics and suedes etc. Not only have I seen some quite simply beautiful creations come in as samples which may not get used or may not be put into production until a later date, i have also seen some which if being honest, I wouldn’t be seen wearing ever but that’s the whole point in trial and error.





Many people will not quite understand or fathom how many different shades of browns, blues, burgundy’s there are and it really does take a while to trial and select the perfect colour palette to not only suit the shoe, but having to envisage where,and when a client will wear them. Another factor to play around with is the last shape, we have 5 lasts which we use most commonly and a certain styles can realistically only work with certain lasts, it really is an art which is very hard to master.

This is why for those of you that follow us on social media, especially IG, you will see many pictures of samples which we ask you to give feedback on and it really does help us as without you and your feedback we would have no business so please do keep commenting and giving us suggestions as they are discussed in our weekly meetings.

I’ll leave you wit some images below of various samples and MTO examples to wet your appetite.

Have a great rest of your weeks,