Thirteen Fashion Design and Industrial Design students have gotten an inside look at Chilean shoe company Sitrana as it introduces its handcrafted leather products to the broader U.S. market.
The students were selected to participate in a project that challenged them to design a pair of shoes that demonstrated an understanding of both market demands and Sitrana’s own specifications.
Sitrana awarded Industrial Design senior Sloan Coffin a pair of shoes custom made from his design on Friday, Oct. 11, during a presentation in the Canzani Auditorium.
Facilitated by the CCAD MindMarket and supervised by Industrial Design faculty member Dino Ellis and Dean of the School of Design arts Tom Gattis, the four-week project introduced students to market research, shoe design, and manufacturing methods.
Sitrana’s handcrafting sets it apart from other shoe manufacturers and presented students with unique opportunities and challenges.
“Because the shoes are constructed by hand, each shoe, despite being made from the same design, has very slight differences,” said Coffin. “This creates a very intimate relationship between Sitrana and its consumer.”
Students were in communication with Sitrana Master Shoemaker Jamie Cardmill and Export Manager Eric Pitzer throughout the process to better understand how their concepts would fit within the Sitrana line.
“My strategy was to emulate existing shoes but also differentiate them slightly,” Coffin said of his designs. He said he drew inspiration from American brands and Sitrana’s organic lines to create his final designs—two different pairs of leather boots in warm muted tones.
Students also had the opportunity to do hands-on work with Sitrana’s equipment and materials during a Saturday morning workshop with Cardmill and Pitzer on Oct. 12.
Participating students included Fashion Design seniors Ryun Harrison from Alpharetta, GA (Alpharetta High School), Ashleigh Jones from Westerville, OH (Central High School), and Seth Stephens from Pickerington, OH (Pickerington High School North); Industrial Design seniors Sloan Coffin from Bexley, OH (Kents Hill School), Cassandra Douglas from North Canton, OH (Hoover High School), Sean Pettiford from Dayton, OH (Stivers School for the Arts), and Donovan Xayasith from Dayton, OH (Stivers School for the Arts); Fashion Design junior Cleo Slough from Lawrence, KS (Lawrence Free State High School); Industrial Design juniors Symon Harrah from Springfield, OH (Urbana High School), Malory Johnson from Knoxville, TN (Bearden High School), Lauren Purkhiser from Akron, OH (Harvey S. Firestone Senior High School), and Katie Young from Mason, OH (William Mason High School); and Fashion Design sophomore May Sleiman from Blacklick, OH.
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