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Bobux Q&A with Nicola Williamson - Best children's footwear brand 2014 - HIGHLY COMMENDED

We meet the designer behind the 2014 Junior Design Award highly commended entry




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What is your name and job title?

Nicola Williamson

Senior Designer and Product Developer for Bobux International Ltd

What style shoes did you love to wear as a child?

I loved to wear Mary Janes which had been converted from sneakers and had hand painted designs on the front. They were comfortable, colourful and fun.

What’s so great about fashionable children’s footwear?

What’s great about fashionable footwear, for me as a designer, is overcoming the challenge inherent in developing shoes that are good for foot development while still being able to inspire discerning, fashion conscious mums. The intersection of form and function is where good design exists and I get to explore this space in my everyday work. Brilliant!

What are the highlights of your autumn winter 2014 collection?

The iWalk Splashboots are the highlight for Autumn/Winter 2014. They let children have fun out doors even on rainy days as the boots keep their feet warm and dry. Parents love the look and reassurance that they are made from genuine leather and that they are best for their children’s feet. The colours in this range brighten up winter days too.

How important is it to keep up with changing fashion trends?

Of course it’s important to keep ones finger on the pulse but to me style is more important than trend. Trends come and go, and although I design with trends in mind, the essence of Bobux, and the 2014 range especially, is an emphasis on timeless, classic styling. 2015, on the other hand, will be a different story…  ;)

Why is it important to invest in children’s footwear?  

Children’s feet change and grow so rapidly and the early stages of development are crucially important in their on-going health. If you consider how much time children spend in shoes it becomes obvious how important choosing the right pair is. Like a car seat, you can get a cheap one that won’t do the job but you don’t. You invest in something you trust to look after your children.

Where do you find design inspiration?

I search the globe for latest fashion and leather trends but I always come back to my New Zealand DNA and what our brand stands for. If I had to pinpoint what inspires me I’d say it’s the challenge of combining kiwi, wellness-focused practicality with timeless continental style.

What are the top three rules for buying children’s shoes - except for making sure they look good!

1. Buy shoes that reflect the natural shape of kids’ feet and that align with your child’s stage of foot development - not an adult shoe shrunk to child size.

2. Remember the word ‘proprioception’ – it means the ability for your child to know where they are in relation to the world around them. If your child is looking at their feet when trying to walk in their shoes then their proprioception is being negatively affected (usually by having shoes that are too clunky).

3. Buy shoes that your children are comfortable in!

Why did you enter the Junior Design Awards?

With the Junior Design Awards showcasing the very best in beautifully designed and made products and Bobux committed to fine craftsmanship, we felt a real affinity to the awards. As a company, Bobux enter very few awards, but felt common ground with the Junior Design Awards and whole heartedly share its philosophy of supporting excellence in style and design.

The introduction of the innovative Splashboot to Bobux’s A/W collection is exciting and what better endorsement and acclaim than a prestigious Junior Design Award.

What kind of children’s footwear innovations do you think we have to look forward to? 

2015 and beyond will see some big changes at Bobux. Our new product innovation team have been experimenting with new abrasion resistant fibres, hyper-flexible sole materials and much more. We’re all very excited by the launch of the category redefining Xplorer, due out in February.

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