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Post Sole Studio for Penny Sage

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The first time I was in touch with Myra Spencer from Post Sole Studio about the arrival of the Penny Sage shoes, she gave me a provisional time and then warned that boxing up the shoes might take she and her PSS partner, Breeze Powell, longer than they estimate. From start to finish, shoe-making is a slow and demanding, hands-on process, and PSS do a lot of it! They produce seasonal collections not only for Penny Sage but other local labels, too, as well as designing and making their own range of great-looking shoes. Many thanks to Myra for taking the time to explain a little about the background to Post Sole, and the many steps it takes to make a beautiful, comfortable shoe. (For the record, they made their provisional packing time easily - pros!) ...

MS: Breeze and I both started at RMIT and then followed different paths in the shoe-making world to end up where we are today.

Following the course, Breeze went to work for Walk On Footwear, where she started as an apprentice before moving into design and development. I worked in shoe repairs, and travelled to Milan to study pattern-making and prototyping, before starting at Walk On Footwear in more of a production coordination role. We met each other working at Walk On, and eventually started Post Sole Studio roughly two and a half years ago.

We work on a few different productions [for different labels] at the same time - but we usually allow three months to complete the seasonal production run for each label.


... The Penny Sage shoes are quite time-consuming! After the samples are made and the patterns finalised, the first step is preparing all the components, so that everything is ready for assembly. The insoles need to be covered and bound, and the uppers cut and stitched before being roughed and glued. There are many, many steps before we even start lasting the shoes - not to mention the sole production, which is another whole process in itself! Once assembled, we then spend a lot of time cleaning and finishing the shoes - sticking down or heating socks, and finally boxing and labelling the pairs, ready for shipment to NZ.

Yes, it is quite hard on the body! We try to wear protective gloves and face masks when possible but we still find our hands are incredibly dry, and the environment is not great for glowing skin either. We are on our feet most of the day, so our bodies get a good work out...

We don't cut any corners with the shoes and come from a comfort footwear background at Walk On Footwear, so that is always at the forefront of our mind - which can sometimes be hard to integrate into high fashion!

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Square imagery above by Post Sole - instagram.com/post_sole_studio.

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