Footwear Design Management Master Classes


At The Footwearists we are continually asked to consult on new technologies to make the design process faster, easier and more sustainable, but over and over again we experience that merely adding these technologies is never the real solution! Unless the underlying - often outdated - design system and its organisational structure are adapted as well, innovative technologies will only make product development even more complicated, wasteful and expensive. 


However, old habits die hard and especially for large multi-national companies it is not even possible nor desirable to disrupt their entire system at once. 
This is why we are introducing a new series of one-day footwear design management master classes that help structure, plan and implement the transition towards a future-proof design system that is more sustainable, fully digital and prepared for big data applications. These classes are aimed at design directors, product managers, manufacturers and anybody else who is involved in product development at a senior or executive level. 


There are three classes in total: Responsible Design, Digital Design and Data Design. These can be followed separately or as a complete course. This is why we organize the three days in a row at various locations around the world (see below for details on dates and places). You can choose to follow one of these open classes, or we could provide them at your company, tailored to your situation and to your management team!

Digital Design

In this second class of the Footwear Design Management series we focus on how to make your design process digital end-to-end. Since we train a lot of design teams in digital 3D design technologies and consult with many different companies on how to apply such technologies, we know first hand what obstacles can occur and how to overcome them.


Morning: why and how?

Why do you want your design process to be digital, where do you expect it will be five years from now and how far along are you today? Those are the first questions we will want to get answered from each participant, since it makes quite a difference for your digital design strategy whether you want consumers to be able to customise your shoes online and aim to sell virtual prototypes, or you simply want your current design process to go smoother and faster. This class is suitable for companies that are at all different levels of digitalisation!

We will continue with a thorough overview of what digital design technologies are currently available internationally to streamline the process from design to manufacturing, comparing pros and cons - as well as price differences - of 3D (foot) scanners, colour and material scanners, scanning services, 3D design software packages, 3D printers, slicing software and 3D printing services and finally CAM and PLM software. We will also give a future outlook on virtual reality and augmented reality design applications. 

(If you are already quite advanced and want to prepare for generative design, then we recommend you also follow Footwear Design Management III: Data Design the next day).


You will not simply receive a list of technology providers though; we will help you understand how to choose the best combination of hardware and software for your current needs, budget and future perspective. The Footwearists are not commercially connected to any specific technology provider, so we can give objective advice without trying to sell you anything.

Afternoon: who and when?

After lunch we will first focus on WHO is going to be doing your digital design? Most companies struggle to decide whether they should train their own staff, hire new (extra) people or outsource digital design, for instance to their factory. There will be different solutions for different situations and of course, you can start with one scenario and grow towards another.

We will explain which kinds of skills you would need to recruit or train for, giving an overview of available courses around the world and many smart tips on how to attract students with the right background from various university studies.


Then, combining all input of the day, we start making individual 5 year-roadmaps towards digitalisation of your design process. Those who already followed Footwear Design Management I: Responsible Design the day before - which we greatly recommend - will add an extra layer to their existing roadmap and those who just follow this day will look at how to apply digital design technologies to their current design process without first making improvements to that.

Course Details


All masterclasses in Footwear Design Management are taught by the two most senior consultants of the Footwearists: Nicoline van Enter's and Yassine Salihine. They have been consulting on innovation in product development for many leading brands around the globe and have combined all insights they gained in these classes! 


During the classes in China they are assisted by David Hsieh. The editions in Shanghai and Guangzhou focus on design management for the Chinese domestic market, which is structured differently from most other markets. These classes are suitable for both Chinese companies as well as foreign companies selling to China. The classes in Amsterdam and New York are focusing on all footwear markets in general.

Dates and locations: 

Hong Kong: April 5, 2019 (after PI apparel, this edition focuses specifically on design management for brands that sell to the Chinese market), this edition focuses specifically on design management for brands that sell to the Chinese market)

Amsterdam: May 14, 2019  (after our Footwear Waste Management course, this edition focuses on design management for international footwear companies)

Guangzhou: June 2, 2019 (after Guangzhou Shoes & Leather Fair, this edition focuses specially on design management for brands that sell to the Chinese market)

New York: July 25, 2019  (after FDRA's Sourcing & Sustainability Summit, this edition focuses on design management for international footwear companies)


The venues in each location will be determined based upon the number of participants per class, those will be announced no later than two months prior to the course dates.


Class duration: 9:00 - 17:30 (including one hour lunch break)


Level: advanced, this course is for senior management, such as design directors, VPs of product development etc.


Price for just this class: €599 per person. 

Two people from the same company pay only €1000 and three people from the same company pay only €1500. 


Package price for all three classes: if you want to follow all three Footwear Design Management classes we charge a price of €1500 per person.

Click here for more info on Responsible Design - Footwear Design Management I

Click here for more info on Data Design - Footwear Design Management III


Included in the course price: all course material, coffee, tea and lunch


(All prices are excluding 21% VAT, if applicable. The course price is to be paid in advance).



Please fill out the form below to apply for this course. We will get back to you within 48 hours to let you know if your application has been accepted. For any questions, or in case of multiple applicants from one company, please email us at

We are also happy to provide you with a tailor-made offer to give this class at your company!