Sneak Peek: The First Steps in the Shoe Design Process

Dave Pompel, VP of Men’s Dress/Dress Casual here at Rockport, is a footwear industry veteran with decades of product development and branding experience for top men’s shoe and sporting brands. In his role at Rockport, Dave is responsible for overseeing style innovation, specifically of men’s dress shoes, and managing the men’s design teams to ensure Rockport shoes are versatile, classic and on-trend.

Dave Pompell

For most of you, today is September 9, 2016. But for someone in product design, today’s date can range anywhere between 2014 and 2018. That’s because at any one point in time, we’re working on multiple seasons, past, present and future. To give you an example, we’re currently scouring past seasons to understand how well our shoes sold the last few spring seasons, in an effort to predict what will happen this coming spring season, and in preparation for what will happen the next two spring seasons. It’s why we get a bit glassy eyed when you ask us today’s date or something even harder, like what shoes we are selling right now.

Product design is the fine art of analysis married with the ability to gaze into the crystal ball. With this information, we make predictions as to what you, our savvy and style-conscious customer, will want to wear on your body months, and even years, from now. You see, while few will know what toothpaste you use, everyone in close view will know what shoes you choose to wear.  And consciously or subconsciously, your shoes make a statement about who you are and what you value. So to that end, let’s have a conversation about not what you like, but what you do, where you go during the week and what your life demands of you. Why? Because it is our job to bring you options that serve as solutions to your known and sometimes unknown needs. And the more we know about you, the better choices we can offer you.

JaxsonA sneak peek at our new “Jaxson” Collection for Spring 2017

Take the new Jaxson program we are working on for Spring 2017. We see our consumers, many of whom have grown up in sneakers, looking for lightweight mobility, the inherent perceived comfort that athletic shoes offer, and a design attitude you get from sports, but in a package they can actually wear to work, and even out for drinks afterwards.  Shoes that elevate their style, and behind the scenes, offer that all-day comfort we secretly hope for in shoes. The “Jaxson” is a grownup solution to these desires (I know, I know, it sucks to grow up but we might as well have some fun doing it, right?).

Let us know what you think, what you might do in these shoes and the toughest part of your day. And just maybe we’ll be able to offer you a couple of choices to make life a little bit easier!

Thanks for listening.

Best wishes…Dave