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Footwear Design and Development Certificate


Footwear Design

Footwear Design and Development Certificate is a 12-week professional certificate comprised of 4 courses that provides students with a comprehensive overview of the footwear industry while developing the necessary skills that lead to successful product design. From concept through marketing, students will experience key elements in creating functional and fashionable shoes for the contemporary consumer. 

Skill-based approach

Learn about all phases of footwear design and production from introduction to design processes, to biomechanics, best practices, and trend and market analytics all lead to a holistic understanding of how the industry works.

Course include: 

  • Shoe Design Basics
  • Materials & Color
  • Production Management
  • Trend Analysis & Marketing

Upon completion of the certificate, students with design experience will have adapted their skill set to a unique area of product design. Students without design experience will acquire an important foundation of the major components of shoe design, production and marketing.

Professional Advantage

The footwear industry is currently one of the fastest growing global businesses, with the US market posting the largest revenue at close to $80 million in 2017.  Overall, many marketing firms are expecting the global footwear market to reach $220.2 billion in value and 10.974 million units by 2020. According to PR Newswire, sports shoes are "expected to have the largest market in terms of volume globally from 2014 to 2020." Currently, the market for sneakers is growing most rapidly, driven by millennial demand and a strategic business approach by major industry corporations, many of which reside in Massachusetts.

The footwear industry is comprised of shoes, sneakers, luxury footwear, athletic footwear, sporting shoes and protective work boots. Formally the "Shoe Capitol of the World," Massachusetts hosts not only many shoe companies, but a wide variety of suppliers pivotal to the production process.

Lasell Experience:

  • Hybrid learning offering online courses at your own pace coupled with in-person coursework to build relevant skills and create a community.
  • Anatomy & physiology fundamentals are woven into the coursework allowing for informed knowledge of how feet and ankles work within the context of shoe design. 
  • Shoe exploration covering everything from high fashion, to everyday shoes, through performance
  • Industry partners and instructors that have extensive experience in design, materials, and production of footwear. 



FASH910 - Shoe Design Basics

Beginning with basic design processes, students will focus on developing a solid foundation of shoe design ability. History, vocabulary, biomechanics, sketching, brief creation, materials selection, pattern making techniques and construction systems will lead to the creation of digital collections, which will be critiqued by footwear industry professionals. Presentation and storytelling skills will be introduced.   Students must have a basic understanding of design processes using the elements and principles and a sound understanding of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Online digital skill development classes are available through the Fashion Tool Kit badge certificate program. 

FASH911 -Materials & Color

Balancing footwear design criteria against form, function and performance is one of the most important elements to consider in creating a successful shoe. Appropriate material choices for uppers and soles need to reflect comprehensive research of consumer and end use purpose to assure fit, shape, style and comfort.  Costing and sourcing factors also play a pivtol role in selecting resources. This course will introduce students to a wide variety of upper and sole materials, their performance attributes, manufacturing best practices of these resources, and strategies for making wise choices. Additionally, the use and application of color wil be examined through a global lense to evaluate the influence color is having in the rise of the contemporary shoe market.  

FASH912 - Production Management

Flawlessly moving from design board to factory floor is the main goal of shoe design and development. Understanding manufacturing processes, production pattern making, material usage and regulations, factory placement, sustainability and analysis of product costing is imperative in making creative design decisions. This course will introduce shoe designers to key factors that have a direct impact on production and distribution of footwear products.  

FASH913 -  Trend Analysis & Marketing

This course is designed to enhance forecasting ability through a combination of "pulse point" research, analysis, and presentation. Examining techniques for interpreting the social and cultural influences on footwear facilitates the ability to recognize and predict trends in the global market. Storytelling within the context of brand representation will be explored through marketing strategies such as; social media, special events, public relations and advertising. Market analysis will include understanding the consumer, the competition, and the retail landscape. 



The certificate requires digital skills to be in place before taking FASH910 - Shoe Design Basics

Students who need a foundation in digital technical skills will take a 2 week Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop course titled: Beginner Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop.

Certificate Outcomes

  • Create multiple footwear collection briefs, which reflect research, innovative thinking, critical analysis and personal style development while addressing the needs of a contemporary, diverse market.
  • Engage with designing product, which reflects an understanding of the basics of human anatomy, contemporary materials, manufacturing processes and marketing strategies.
  • Be able to research and articulate rising trends, customer identification and cultural shifts within the footwear industry.
  • Learn to focus on the importance of assessing best business practices regarding ethical, moral and ecological impact on society through acknowledging maltreatment, waste and pollution issues found in manufacturing.  

The Footwear and Design Development Certificate is $3,230 for all 4 courses. It takes just 10 minutes to register online.  Admission documents are not required.

FASH910 - Shoe Design Basics $995
FASH911 - Materials & Color $995
FASH912 - Production Management $745
FASH913 - Trend Analysis & Marketing $495

When you register online, you will be asked to create a new account.  Please select the course code, semester, and session.  Prior to course registration, please have Credit Card or Checking Account Information available. 

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Informational Webinars

May 7 - 6:00 p.m. EST

June 9 - 6:00 p.m. EST

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