My name is Vladimir, and I am the founder of the shoe company AFOUR. The idea to create shoes according to your color design appeared in 2008. I no longer like the assortment of stores, then the model is not like, the color is not suitable. To order from abroad is always long and expensive, plus there is always a chance of making a mistake with the size. Local ateliers were ready to sew to order, but they didn’t have modern shoes in their assortment, plus no one visualized the future result and they had to take a cat in a bag. Then I had an idea about the online atelier of the future. There is a designer on the site in which you collect design yourself outside of trends outside of fashion - you yourself are the main designer. Also, personal upgrades should be available for shoes.
So the creation of AFOUR began - at first I tried to sew shoes in factories, but quickly realized that my individual approach to the client did not fit the classic factory, they always mixed up colors and asked for volumes. And when, once again, I received a refusal to make shoes, I realized that I needed to start my own workshop and figure everything out from scratch. I rented a workshop - it was tiny, but it had almost everything needed. He quit his main job and switched to freelance. For more than a year, combining my main activity with training in shoe craft and design, I was preparing the launch of the updated company AFOUR.
In August 2009, I was ready to take orders. At first, these were friends and acquaintances, together with them we painted coloring forms, I selected materials and personally assembled blanks. After some time, I hired my first shoemaker, he came on the weekend and helped me mold the blanks and glue the soles.
In 2010, I launched the first version of the online designer - he had only one angle and type of material - but it was already a new level for the studio. The client could vary the colors at any time convenient to him and determined to place an order online. This is what a modern studio should look like when everything is clear and accessible anywhere in the world.
When the basic models were established, I began to deal with the optimization of production and design of shoes. Very quickly, I realized that the size range of shoes is not limited to the length of the foot, and this had to be taken into account in the design and size selection system. In 2011, I met with the guys from Two-ta and we jointly rented a spacious room on Lomanaya Street, where we are to this day.
At the same moment, my team began to expand; I had a master in cutting and tailoring shoes. Majid was from Kyrgyzstan and in the Soviet Union worked in a factory that exported shoes to Europe. The demonstration of his qualifications was not long in coming, I remember how, after sorting through the crowd of applicants, he meticulously showed him all the operations. And when he sat down at a sewing machine and started sewing, I was stunned by his speed and dexterity, to my question why you did not immediately admit. He said that he thought that I could tell him something new. =) Then I realized a good master is not talkative, but active.
The expansion of the team allowed us to devote more time to customer service and model design. We were ready for the first collaboration ...