From Inspiration to Collection: The 3DM Lifestyle Process

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The beginning of our design process is always an inspiration. Something has made us think and feel something new and given us the desire to create.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, like a beautifully balanced object or our mood influenced by the world around us. Recently we had an intense feeling of wanderlust and the resulting collection was about traveling and being bold.

Once the inspiration is clear in our minds, we can continue with the design of the shoes. Often we like to start with the raw material. Feeling the textures and qualities of different leathers will guide us in the right direction.

Then the question of shape appears. Many great painters paint in three steps, first with lines, then with tones and lastly with colour. For us it is very similar. The lines of the shoe are very important and slight changes can have a surprisingly large visual effect. It is a question of first drawing bold lines and then eventually pushing them back and forth until the shape is coherent with our inspiration of the design.

Combining material and shape, craftsmanship and design joins to discover the technique that allows the construction of the shoe. We look at how can the design be realised in the chosen leather and which old techniques we can employ to create this new shoe.

Like the great painters of the past, our last step is colour. Once we have a great shape, multiple colours will work well. It is our job to find which colours look best and convey the idea of our inspiration. 

Colours are crucial to the style and expression of a shoe. We often use the raw leather colours to reference classic formal shoes whereas coloured leather opens up a new world. Colour is also very important when thinking of how the shoe will integrate into the wardrobe of the final client.

Our current summer season is all about boldness. We felt the need to travel and break with our rhythm. We used several strong textures, python pattern and grained leather, which underlined our concept. Then we designed the collection around the shape of a loafer, which underlined our idea of travel with its ease of wear. Different techniques were employed to create our different shapes of loafer and finally we developed a new colour palette. Ink blue, yellow and green were complimented by a range of summer pastel colours which put the final touch on the design process.

When looking back on the designs of the past, it is easy to be very humbled in awe of all the great designs. This can give a feeling of nostalgia and a desire to emulate those past designs, but this is paralysingly to progress. The more you study the history of design, the more it becomes apparent that the great designs were made by people searching for timelessness and modernity. Like the great designers before us, we believe that timeless designs are achieved by looking to the future, by staying true to your inspiration and by pushing the boundaries.

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