Christian Louboutin once said, “A shoe is not only a design, but it’s a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you’re going to move is quite dictated by your shoes.” According to up and coming young shoe designer Timothy Vermeulen (26) at Bolton Footwear, it could very easily be his own maxim.
Born and raised in Cape Town, Vermeulen followed in his grandparents’ footsteps. Says Vermeulen: “Three of my grandparents worked in the footwear industry, mostly in factories. I studied Surface Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and have always gravitated towards designs which required hands-on skills and the ability to create functional 3D forms.”
Although Vermeulen is fairly new to the industry, his design experience is growing in leaps and bounds and he is mainly involved in the CAD (Computer Aided Design) department which gets the ball rolling by producing graphic renderings and footwear patterns.
As young designer for BRONX men, Vermeulen is very passionate about the brand. “Designed and developed to deliver the toughest shoes for real South African men, Bronx Men are extremely comfortable, durable and have the attitude to match. The ultimate shoe for every occasion in a busy man’s life, this shoe promises to be your best buy ever – and it comes in leather to boot. We’d like to retain these attributes and remain on the forefront of what is currently trending.” Vermeulen believes that a mixture of casual/street wear and sportswear is a must for Spring/Summer.
Vermeulen has gained a lot of knowledge in the past three years working at Barker Footwear, a division of Bolton Footwear. He obtained his National Diploma in Surface Design from CPUT in 2013, after which he worked at Southern Cape Regional Footwear for two years. He also spent a year in Italy studying at Ars Sutoria, the leading school for footwear and bag design.
This year he had the opportunity to do a course on the introduction to sports footwear manufacturing at Sanming University (SMU) in China.
“I believe this is a niche career in a competitive industry. It’s receiving more interest due to increasingly well-informed consumers and footwear’s expressiveness. I think one needs to be passionate and really want to work in this industry to make a success of it,” Vermeulen concludes.