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 Unless the underlying - often outdated - design system and its organisational structure are adapted as well, innovative technologies will only make product development even more complicated,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!

Responsible Design

In this first class of the series we focus on how to restructure your design process, with the goal of making it much leaner, minimizing loss of time, energy and resources, both in terms of materials and people. 

In essence, this also leads to a much more sustainable structure, which is why we have called this class "responsible design".

By first optimizing the workflow as such, we also create a good base for the next two classes that focus on technological innovation. Obviously, you will not want to waste energy and money on applying new digital technologies to processes that first need to be restructured, or are obsolete and should be phased out.


Morning: re-start

In the first part of the class we pretend your company is a start-up again, re-creating your design process from scratch, from the way you collect and use trend information, to how you build your product matrix and structure your creative processes, to how these processes connect to sampling and manufacturing. 

Using best practices from other companies - both inside and outside the footwear industry – followed by directed thinking exercises, we will challenge you to reconsider every part of your design process. The aim is to identify and eliminate any aspects that are needlessly complicated, wasteful or outdated. You will be surprised how many things you are doing just because you have always done them that way, not because they actually still benefit your company now and in the future. 

Afternoon: roadmapping

Rethinking the structure of your design process from scratch is a great exercise that will give you fresh insights, but we do realize that in reality you cannot just re-start your company. That is why the second part of the day is focused on creating a practical roadmap towards incremental implementation of a leaner, more responsible design policy and organisation. There is no "one size fits all" solution, so the roadmaps will be strongly individualized. 

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 4, 2019 (right after PI apparel, this edition focuses specifically on design management for brands that sell to the Chinese market)

Amsterdam: May 13, 2019  (right after our Footwear Waste Management course, this edition focuses on design management for international footwear companies)

Guangzhou: June 1, 2019 (right after Guangzhou Shoes & Leather Fair, this edition focuses specially on design management for brands that sell to the Chinese market)

New York: July 24, 2019  (right after FDRA's Sourcing & Sustainability Summit, this edition focuses on design management for international footwear companies)


The exact venues 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 Digital Design - Footwear Design Management II

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!