Award winning London based architect Julian Hakes first released early images of the design for a new ladies fashion shoe on the 23rd September 2009 on design blog www.dezeen.com
Later that evening Julian received a message from the editor of Dezeen to say ‘it had gone viral’ and I should ‘put my name into Google’. Julian did this and to his amazement got halfway through ‘Ha….’ before Google prompted him to ‘buy Julian Hakes shoes?’
Within hours the story was snapped up by American blog www.gizmodo.com and registered in excess of 100,000 hits and streams of comments. Over that same weekend Hakes received press enquiries from agencies right around the globe.
Julian believes that within the UK we have a great opportunity to embrace new technologies to enable our designers and manufacturers to design, build and distribute fashion and footwear from the UK.
He feels there is an imbalance in the fashion and footwear industry design at both the designer and value end of the market as there is an assumed default position of using cheap labour and materials. Whilst currently this process delivers affordable products to UK customers, for designers and retailers this has it's own set of challenges and most critical element is having to wait 6 weeks for shipping.
The impact of this is that in a challenging economic climate and seen retailers are less likely to place single bulk orders which makes this long distance sourcing and shipping viable. Retailers are increasingly more attracted to smaller orders with a faster reorder this reduces their risk and also helps them stay 'on trend' with strong sellers.
This is precisely where our high technology shoe design approach is focused as we can now make our shoes to the same standard in any region globally. This means we can compete on price and most importantly on speed to market.
Julian Hakes has recently been awarded the 'Drapers footwear Desinger of the year 2012'. His work has been published intentionally including Forbes, Vogue and Elle. Julian's shoes will arrive in store this summer and the launch shoe the 'mojito' has been distributed widely including UK and Europe, USA, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore and China.