I have been itching to update you with how things are going on the prototyping of the new American Duchess 18th century shoes. I haven’t done so because there has been a lot of back and forth with revisions and design changes, getting things just right, and I do not want any of you to be confused about the final design and quality of our shoes. (Please note that these images are photos sent from the manufacturer of the shoe in progress)
However, I do want to show you a little of the prototyping process, so here’s a look at the evolution of our heels.
Originally, the manufacturer sent me a photo of a “sortof right” shaped heel that surprisingly tied in with historically accurate heel shapes of the 1770s, but strayed too far away from the more iconic Louie heel shape we associate with the 18th century.
|Heel sample #1 – Not Quite Right|
With the input of Mrs.C and a number of others who commented, and a stroke of luck, however, I was able to negotiate a more appetizing price on the development of the Louie heel shape, exclusively made for these shoes. One problem, though. This is the next photo I received:
|Heel #2 – DEFINITELY NOT RIGHT!|
That doesn’t look like a Louie heel! And why is the company logo stamped on it? There was some miscommunication about the logo, and also those who developed the heel were unsure of the exaggerated shape and so were conservative with the design.
I asked for a revision to the heel, supported by more reference images, and here is the most recent heel:
|Heel #3 – Ah, there we go!|
Isn’t it cute!? I look at this heel and see the perfect blend of style and daintiness. It is not too chunky or overly flared, nor is it too modern and thin. The curve at the back is very period, and the flare is subtle but definitely present. Most importantly, the heel is placed in the center of your heel bone, not at the back, which will provide balance and comfort all day long.
As you see, I’ve gone through three heel shapes, and two entire shoe prototypes, and although I am finally happy with the shape of the heel, there were other parts of the shoe that I was not pleased with. We are now working on a third prototype, but due to overseas holidays, I will not have this new sample until mid-February. This means that, provided Sample #3 is absolutely correct, the date for pre-ordering your shoes has been pushed back to early March.