Shoe workshop in New York City

We have developed this short course few years ago to address the needs of technical knowledge of those who work in the footwear industry in the United States.

The reality of the US footwear industry today is that the majority of the shoes are manufactured in other countries. A limited number of those who work in the footwear industry had the opportunity to really see shoes while they flow through the conveyor line in a factory, work side by side with pattern engineers and visit materials and components manufacturers.

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Arsutoria School world-renown training in the U.S.

This training course tries to bring a part of this knowledge back to the United States. Our teachers are all experienced professionals that have spent many years working with factories in different areas of the world and still love making shoes. They will share their experience and passion and they will bring insights on what happens “behind the scene” when shoes are made. We have been organizing these short workshops in the US in these past 10 years but Arsutoria School in Italy has been training shoe designers and technicians for more than 70 years.

Please note that this workshop is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will publish new dates as soon as we will have the ability to provide this workshop in a safe way for everyone involved

Paolo Marenghi

Paolo is the technical director at Arsutoria School and the leader of the course. During more than 25 years as teacher he has educated a countless number of shoe designers and pattern makers. During this course Paolo will explain the manufacturing processes step by step for different shoe constructions and he will show how the different materials and components used in every step of the manufacturing process contribute to the final quality of the shoe. Being an expert pattern maker, during the costing module he will demonstrate how material consumptions and yields are calculated. He teams up with the shoe fitting, costing and sourcing experts

Roberto Grasso

Roberto has been in the shoe industry for over 4 decades, he has started his career working in a shoe factory and learning first hand all phases of shoe making. In the late 70’s Roberto has been one of the pioneers of the overseas sourcing. Since then he has been leading product sourcing departments of different US shoe companies such as Stride Rite, Clarks and Rockport. During this course he will talk about how to develop global sourcing strategies for footwear, how to analyze and interpret the details of a cost breakdown sheet and he will advice on how to design for a cost with an emphasis on: cost-reduction, supply chain management, building and maintain business relationships between brand, footwear factories and suppliers of all components.

Roy Russo

Roy is a life-long last and fit technician. Roy has been responsible for Technical Product Development for leather, last, soles, heels and other components and working directly with line builders and designers, assisting factories in all phases of development and production. Roy has worked for the most important footwear brands including Steve Madden and Nine West both in the US and offshore.

Ioannis Ioannidis

Ioannis is a fourth-generation leather technologist, having served the leather sector for over 30 years. He started as a wet-end chief technician in tanneries, gradually evolving into an International expert consultant and developer of low environmental impact technologies and bespoke leather articles. As a consultant of the association of the Italian tanneries UNIC – Concerie Italiane, during the course Ioannis will get into the details of leathers used to make shoes


Arsutoria will bring four specialists for the duration of the workshops. These footwear masters are:

of the course

Fundamentals on shoemaking

The relationship between the human foot and the footwear going through the shoe last. A deep dive into the parameters used in the shoe last development covers production, analysis of length, width, size measurements and size conversion among EU, UK and USA systems. Explanation of upper and lining materials. Focus on interlinings and reinforcements to be used depending on the shoe. Understanding of the process of cutting and upper assembling related to materials and new upper making systems.

Materials and components

Analysis of leathers, how they are made: the tanning and the finishing process. Teaching how to recognize them, how they are graded for quality and function. Explanation of synthetics, action leather, By-cast and fabrics used for upper and linings. Heel design, types and making process, its relationship with the shoe last. Midsole and outsole construction upon materials. All supported by samples available and factory videos.

Midsoles and outsoles

Features, compounds, processes of fabrication and molding are carefully explained to be more aware of the function they have upon the type of footwear. Advantageous, profitable and useful types according to the needs of today market place. The open discussion is geared on both products: molded and cut-assembled systems.

Fundamentals on costing

Key objective of this module is to offer a comprehensive in depth review of costing awareness and value. Topics covered are impact of design, pattern making and construction on pricing. Interactive workshop and simulations using footwear and existing cost breakdown sheets (CBS) to train participants on how to simulate a cost reduction action, how to better engineer the shoe design, what to change to control costs etc.

Scholaship opportunities

There are currently no scholarships available for this course. Check back on this page for the next opportunity!

from past editions

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