Walking through a local Foot Locker makes us wonder: how do some of these shoe designs ever make it past the design stage? Are there people that actually demand these designs? Take a look through Bleacher Reports 50 ugliest basketball shoe designs and it’s easy to see that sometimes bad decisions make its way into production.
Sneakerly is a new startup taking a more Kickstarter-esque approach to footwear design. The UK based platform connects creative individuals with original quality footwear production by allowing you to design and decide what they make. Illustrators, designers and artists submit their artwork and Sneakerly showcases the designs on their site for you to decide on what they manufacture. Thus reducing the likelihood of another Nike CB ’94 from ever seeing the light of day – hopefully.
Similar to Kickstarter, Sneakerly employs an all-or-nothing funding model before any design is made. Upon a design being shared on the site it has 25 days to reach a goal of 250 pre-orders. If the design meets that goal the successful designer receives $2,500, Sneakerly manufactures the footwear and sends each endorser a new independently designed pair of kicks. This model helps Sneakerly decide which designs are viable and ensures only successful products are created – an interesting approach to product design and production that can reduce waste and bootstrap capital. We usually call this crowdsourcing, in actuality isn’t this just common sense?
“We’re giving designers another creative outlet for their artwork and it’s an outlet that helps pay the bills.” Explains founder and product designer David Hill. “The designer doesn’t have to worry about manufacturing or order fulfillment, Sneakerly takes care of all that.”
“Sneakerly aims to give consumers the same great choice when it comes to indie footwear as they have for indie t-shirts.”
The platform itself is set to launch at the end of November, but Sneakerly is using this pre-launch period to collect designs and patterns. If you have an incredible shoe design idea – download the template from the Sneakerly site or email them your design, and if enough people like it you’ll be awarded $2,500.