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The Making of a Shoe Collection

by Beth Cornaccio, Pancaldi shoes

Beth Cornaccio, prepared this explanation for how one of our premier Italian shoe designers puts together a shoe collection for the season.

One... 

The designer decides lasts/heels for the season. (round, square, pointed, etc.) as well as heel height.

Two...
The designer then sketches the models for each last.

Three...
The technicians receive sketches and input to the computer. This prints a cardboard pattern.

Four...
The first department that receives the cardboard pattern is the "cutting room". Approx. 3½ pairs of shoes per skin is the average. Here the leather is cut for the different parts of the upper (vamp, heel, lining, etc.). The best leather is put around the toe and the less durable around the heel. They try to cut so there is no waste.

Five...
The second department is the "sewing room". This is where different pieces are stitched together. They insert the toe cap between the vamp and the lining to reinforce the shoe toe. All shoes are reinforced to some degree. The more reinforced the less comfortable but the less reinforced the more likely the shoe is to wrinkle.

Six...
At the same time another department called the "preparation room" prepares the components for the bottom of the shoe. These are the lasts, heels, counters and insoles. The counter has to reinforce the back of the shoe and is the same for all shoes. For each size there is a different last Heels are used for two sizes: for example, a size 7 heel is used for sizes 7 and 7½.

Seven...
Next the "lasting room: receives the stitched uppers from the "sewing room". This is where they put everything together. The upper is put on a last to acquire the shape. At one time lasts were wooden but now they are all plastic. Next the insole is glued underneath. Then the heel is nailed to the sole (the insole is between the sock lining and the stacked sole). The next step is taking off the last. Afterwards, the sock lining is glued in.

Eight...
The last department is the "finishing room". This is where the shoes are cleaned, brushed and prepared for packing and shipping.

Nine...
Ornaments, bows, etc. are put on prior to the shoe being taken off the last.