January 10, 2017

From Sketches to Stories: Custom-Made Shoes by Jefferson Si

'I want to inspire the market, the people, to believe in our own industry...'
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custom made shoes Marikina

Inside every Jefferson Si box is a different story


When we see shoes, what do we usually think about? For most, it’s the purpose. Is it for everyday use or for a special event? For others, it’s the design. Will it be black, with heels, peep-toed, or with fringes? And for some, it’ll be the price. “Did she really pay this amount of money for those shoes?” But for one person, it’s about the story. And his name is Jefferson Si.

At only 23 years old, Jefferson has already set up his own design studio, produced hundreds of shoes for various women, and worked with prominent names in the fashion industry—all because of his ability to turn his clients’ stories in the form of shoes. But before he enjoyed these successes, like most of us, he also started with just a dream. We had a sit-down interview with Jefferson and discovered how he turned his dreams into reality at such a young age as well as the things he learned about shoes and daring to dream along the way.


It Starts with Oneself



custom made shoes Marikina

Jefferson Si and some of his creations inside his studio in Eastwood


Jefferson’s journey with fashion started as a personal affair. Being fashionable and a shoe lover himself his original plan was to put up an atelier of men’s wear in the country and produce outfits that he cannot find in our malls. But as fate would have it, during his time in Ateneo De Manila University studying Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Management, he came across a topic that would move his heart and his dreams.

While doing his research paper, he read a material about the shoemakers in Marikina. Their dwindling number moved his heart and he decided that he cannot ignore such a thing. He made it his mission to produce shoes that are proudly designed and created by Filipinos and help the industry and prove that local doesn’t mean low quality.

Despite being young, he knows that he needs to do something about the shoe industry not just in Marikina but in the whole country as well. That’s why he decided to venture on his own.


“When I had the idea and the heart for the Marikina shoe industry, I just felt that I have to act on it. When I had the idea, let’s do it. I don’t want to regret na years from now, sana I tried it or sana I did it; just plain faith and talent so to speak.”



After a couple of years of experience in shoemaking in partnership with his friends, Jefferson took the plunge in January 2016 and started his own designer label, staying faithful to this mission: creating unique shoes for every client where Filipinos gets all the credit. All of his creations are made by his team in Marikina, and, as much as possible, he makes sure that most of the materials that he uses are also locally sourced to help the shoe industry in our country.


Where the Magic Happens



custom made shoes Marikina

The warm and cozy studio of Jefferson Si


During the interview, the Shoppersguide team was given the privilege to visit Jefferson’s studio in Eastwood where all the magic happens.

Because Jefferson makes custom-made shoes, he derives inspiration from the stories of his clients. The style, quirks, and individuality of his clients are what comprise his design.


"I draw inspiration from them, their life story, for brides their love story. And from there just like magic the design would come. I’ll do sketches for them and would both collaborate on a design that would meet my aesthetics and her personal style. From there we move forward to create one shoe that would be a reflection of her style, of her essence, and of her needs for that particular event or the particular purpose of that shoe.”



custom made shoes Marikina

From stories to sketches; the early stages of Jefferson’s design process (Image: Jefferson Si Custom Designer Shoes)


On the average, Jefferson shared that he usually spends two hours with his clients doing nothing but talk: to get to know each other and to see their true personalities. And after that, the shoes come to life. Once he is able to get to know his clients and their wants and needs, he will quickly draw a design that he knows will please the client and will also match his aesthetics, resulting in a pair of shoes that is unique, comfortable, and fashionable at the same time.


Shoes for Every Woman



custom made shoes Marikina

From classy to edgy, Jefferson makes shoes for every kind of woman.


When asked why he decided to focus on women’s shoes, Jefferson quipped that the design process of doing women’s shoes excites him. The details and the intricacies, the effect of a simple change in material and design, is what drives him to be better in this craft.


“Every client is memorable. Lahat sila may 'kanya-kanyang' story”



From these unique women and unique stories, he creates one-of-kind shoes for every client. And although Jefferson is becoming known as a bridal shoe designer, he is not a one-trick pony. He also designs shoes for the everyday woman who wants custom comfortable shoes that they can wear for a straight eight hours during their work. He also makes fashion forward and out-of-the-box pieces that he creates for high-fashion magazines or sometimes just passion projects for himself.


custom made shoes Marikina

From classic bridal whites, Jefferson also goes out of the box and creates edgy pumps like the pair pictured above.


And not all shoes are the same, Jefferson also goes out of the norm and out of his comfort zone just to achieve the design that he wants. From faux fur to patent leather, and even shoes bedazzled with Swarovski crystals, he experiments with materials to come up with creations that can compete with foreign brands.

Even if it’s as simple as an everyday office shoes or as extravagant as a bridal pair of whites, Jefferson makes sure that the shoes that he produces for his clients are comfortable enough to wear for longer periods of time, are made of good quality, and, above all, tell the wearer’s story.


A Balancing Act



custom made shoes Marikina

A 6.5 inch heels specifically requested by one of his brides


Some might think that as a designer, creativity is all you need and you are free to do whatever you want, but with Jefferson, he knows that it’s not just about what he wants.

Jefferson mentioned that one of the most challenging parts of being a designer is when his clients have so many ideas. But he makes sure that at the end of the day, they will both agree on a design that will represent her wants and his aesthetics. If his clients want something as crazy as a 6.5 inch heels, he will give you a fashionable 6.5 inch heels, but he will make sure that you’ll be able to walk or even dance in it and he won’t make you sacrifice comfort at the end of a long day.


custom made shoes Marikina

Fashion forward Vikings-inspired shoes made with faux fur and leather


Even his shoemakers and cobblers were a bit of a challenge too:


“In the beginning it was challenging 'kasi' they (production) are so used to these aesthetics na very stiff and commercial. Doing custom shoes as a fresh blood designer it was very hard to introduce something new to them and encourage them to try something new.”



But with effort and his love for his people, today he has found a middle ground with his shoemakers. He doesn’t impose out-of-this-world ideas but rather still take into consideration the principles of how his shoemakers do their work. He knows the balance between being creative but at the same time still be realistic to make his designs become functional, quality shoes.


Behind the Glitz and Glamour


Even as a young designer, today Jefferson knows that it’s not just about being passionate. You need to roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself. Despite enjoying designing shoes for big names like Jodi Sta. Maria and Maine Mendoza, he knows that his shoes don’t come out of thin air and much work is needed.


custom made shoes Marikina

The Moroccan-inspired red fringe shoes he created for a shoot with Maine Mendoza


Despite having his team of shoemakers in Marikina, sometimes Jefferson does the work himself to achieve the results that he wants. He once sewed each and every premium Japanese glass beads in a pair of shoes that was used by Maine Mendoza just to achieve that Moroccan-inspired look that he wanted. After a grueling two weeks of hard work, his creation made it to the spread of a fashion magazine and his efforts paid off. On the average, he spends at least three days with his shoemakers in Marikina so he can supervise and achieve the look that he wants for his creation.

But aside from the designing aspects, Jefferson knows that other skills are needed. When asked about what other skills one needs to succeed as a designer:


“Accounting… Marketing... You can always look for people who could work with you on those areas. But I think as a designer, you yourself should be equipped with at least a little of everything. Creativity is not enough, vision is not enough.”



Aside from designing, Jefferson make sure that he knows a little about bookkeeping to make sure that he can check all that’s going on with his business. He also does his own PR and marketing; handling his social media accounts and collaborating with various people in the fashion industry to promote his brand.


Not Just Luxury Pieces



custom made shoes Marikina

Jefferson’s name in every shoe that he makes



“I want to inspire the market, the people, to believe in our own industry; establishing that premium of custom designer shoes with the stress on the designer.”



For most Filipinos, if they heard someone spending a hefty amount of money on a pair of shoes, eyes will be rolling everywhere. Some think that pricey shoes are luxury pieces and are impractical, but Jefferson wants to change the way people think about shoes. More than a statement piece for every woman, he wants to educate the public that shoe designers exist, and yes there is a thriving shoe industry in our country—not just the typical black shoes, but fashionable, wearable, quality pieces that you can only find in our country.


The 'Jefferson Si Woman'



“I always have that image of a Jefferson Si lady as one that is very sophisticated, career-driven woman that is not fearful of achievements. She is one strong woman that is not dictated by fashion but of style; 'parang' beauty and brains 'kung baga'. She has that courage to stand up on her own. When it comes to bridal, she could also be feminine but outspoken; very graceful yet courageous.”



These are the words that Jefferson Si sees in his clients. His shoes are not just shoes, but a representation of the women who wears them. May she be a school directress from Pangasinan or a blushing bride from Manila, every pair of shoes is unique and has a story of their own. And soon he plans to bring these stories to international platforms to make the shoe industry in the Philippines known to other countries.


Except otherwise indicated, all photos are by ShoppersGuide.com.ph writer and researcher.


BRANCH DETAILS
To know more about Jefferson Si Custom Designer Shoes, contact Mr. Jefferson Si at +63 917-779-5710 or send your inquiries to si.markjefferson@gmail.com.
Facebook Page: facebook.com/customshoes.mjsi
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeffersonsi_designs/

Patricia Marie Prado

Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.

Patricia Marie Prado

Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.

Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of ShoppersGuide.com.ph (SG) are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, SG does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.

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Your comment is important to us. ShoppersGuide is now notified and will review the comment you sent.

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January 10, 2017

From Sketches to Stories: Custom-Made Shoes by Jefferson Si

'I want to inspire the market, the people, to believe in our own industry...'

custom made shoes Marikina

Inside every Jefferson Si box is a different story


When we see shoes, what do we usually think about? For most, it’s the purpose. Is it for everyday use or for a special event? For others, it’s the design. Will it be black, with heels, peep-toed, or with fringes? And for some, it’ll be the price. “Did she really pay this amount of money for those shoes?” But for one person, it’s about the story. And his name is Jefferson Si.

At only 23 years old, Jefferson has already set up his own design studio, produced hundreds of shoes for various women, and worked with prominent names in the fashion industry—all because of his ability to turn his clients’ stories in the form of shoes. But before he enjoyed these successes, like most of us, he also started with just a dream. We had a sit-down interview with Jefferson and discovered how he turned his dreams into reality at such a young age as well as the things he learned about shoes and daring to dream along the way.


It Starts with Oneself



custom made shoes Marikina

Jefferson Si and some of his creations inside his studio in Eastwood


Jefferson’s journey with fashion started as a personal affair. Being fashionable and a shoe lover himself his original plan was to put up an atelier of men’s wear in the country and produce outfits that he cannot find in our malls. But as fate would have it, during his time in Ateneo De Manila University studying Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Management, he came across a topic that would move his heart and his dreams.

While doing his research paper, he read a material about the shoemakers in Marikina. Their dwindling number moved his heart and he decided that he cannot ignore such a thing. He made it his mission to produce shoes that are proudly designed and created by Filipinos and help the industry and prove that local doesn’t mean low quality.

Despite being young, he knows that he needs to do something about the shoe industry not just in Marikina but in the whole country as well. That’s why he decided to venture on his own.


“When I had the idea and the heart for the Marikina shoe industry, I just felt that I have to act on it. When I had the idea, let’s do it. I don’t want to regret na years from now, sana I tried it or sana I did it; just plain faith and talent so to speak.”



After a couple of years of experience in shoemaking in partnership with his friends, Jefferson took the plunge in January 2016 and started his own designer label, staying faithful to this mission: creating unique shoes for every client where Filipinos gets all the credit. All of his creations are made by his team in Marikina, and, as much as possible, he makes sure that most of the materials that he uses are also locally sourced to help the shoe industry in our country.


Where the Magic Happens



custom made shoes Marikina

The warm and cozy studio of Jefferson Si


During the interview, the Shoppersguide team was given the privilege to visit Jefferson’s studio in Eastwood where all the magic happens.

Because Jefferson makes custom-made shoes, he derives inspiration from the stories of his clients. The style, quirks, and individuality of his clients are what comprise his design.


"I draw inspiration from them, their life story, for brides their love story. And from there just like magic the design would come. I’ll do sketches for them and would both collaborate on a design that would meet my aesthetics and her personal style. From there we move forward to create one shoe that would be a reflection of her style, of her essence, and of her needs for that particular event or the particular purpose of that shoe.”



custom made shoes Marikina

From stories to sketches; the early stages of Jefferson’s design process (Image: Jefferson Si Custom Designer Shoes)


On the average, Jefferson shared that he usually spends two hours with his clients doing nothing but talk: to get to know each other and to see their true personalities. And after that, the shoes come to life. Once he is able to get to know his clients and their wants and needs, he will quickly draw a design that he knows will please the client and will also match his aesthetics, resulting in a pair of shoes that is unique, comfortable, and fashionable at the same time.


Shoes for Every Woman



custom made shoes Marikina

From classy to edgy, Jefferson makes shoes for every kind of woman.


When asked why he decided to focus on women’s shoes, Jefferson quipped that the design process of doing women’s shoes excites him. The details and the intricacies, the effect of a simple change in material and design, is what drives him to be better in this craft.


“Every client is memorable. Lahat sila may 'kanya-kanyang' story”



From these unique women and unique stories, he creates one-of-kind shoes for every client. And although Jefferson is becoming known as a bridal shoe designer, he is not a one-trick pony. He also designs shoes for the everyday woman who wants custom comfortable shoes that they can wear for a straight eight hours during their work. He also makes fashion forward and out-of-the-box pieces that he creates for high-fashion magazines or sometimes just passion projects for himself.


custom made shoes Marikina

From classic bridal whites, Jefferson also goes out of the box and creates edgy pumps like the pair pictured above.


And not all shoes are the same, Jefferson also goes out of the norm and out of his comfort zone just to achieve the design that he wants. From faux fur to patent leather, and even shoes bedazzled with Swarovski crystals, he experiments with materials to come up with creations that can compete with foreign brands.

Even if it’s as simple as an everyday office shoes or as extravagant as a bridal pair of whites, Jefferson makes sure that the shoes that he produces for his clients are comfortable enough to wear for longer periods of time, are made of good quality, and, above all, tell the wearer’s story.


A Balancing Act



custom made shoes Marikina

A 6.5 inch heels specifically requested by one of his brides


Some might think that as a designer, creativity is all you need and you are free to do whatever you want, but with Jefferson, he knows that it’s not just about what he wants.

Jefferson mentioned that one of the most challenging parts of being a designer is when his clients have so many ideas. But he makes sure that at the end of the day, they will both agree on a design that will represent her wants and his aesthetics. If his clients want something as crazy as a 6.5 inch heels, he will give you a fashionable 6.5 inch heels, but he will make sure that you’ll be able to walk or even dance in it and he won’t make you sacrifice comfort at the end of a long day.


custom made shoes Marikina

Fashion forward Vikings-inspired shoes made with faux fur and leather


Even his shoemakers and cobblers were a bit of a challenge too:


“In the beginning it was challenging 'kasi' they (production) are so used to these aesthetics na very stiff and commercial. Doing custom shoes as a fresh blood designer it was very hard to introduce something new to them and encourage them to try something new.”



But with effort and his love for his people, today he has found a middle ground with his shoemakers. He doesn’t impose out-of-this-world ideas but rather still take into consideration the principles of how his shoemakers do their work. He knows the balance between being creative but at the same time still be realistic to make his designs become functional, quality shoes.


Behind the Glitz and Glamour


Even as a young designer, today Jefferson knows that it’s not just about being passionate. You need to roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself. Despite enjoying designing shoes for big names like Jodi Sta. Maria and Maine Mendoza, he knows that his shoes don’t come out of thin air and much work is needed.


custom made shoes Marikina

The Moroccan-inspired red fringe shoes he created for a shoot with Maine Mendoza


Despite having his team of shoemakers in Marikina, sometimes Jefferson does the work himself to achieve the results that he wants. He once sewed each and every premium Japanese glass beads in a pair of shoes that was used by Maine Mendoza just to achieve that Moroccan-inspired look that he wanted. After a grueling two weeks of hard work, his creation made it to the spread of a fashion magazine and his efforts paid off. On the average, he spends at least three days with his shoemakers in Marikina so he can supervise and achieve the look that he wants for his creation.

But aside from the designing aspects, Jefferson knows that other skills are needed. When asked about what other skills one needs to succeed as a designer:


“Accounting… Marketing... You can always look for people who could work with you on those areas. But I think as a designer, you yourself should be equipped with at least a little of everything. Creativity is not enough, vision is not enough.”



Aside from designing, Jefferson make sure that he knows a little about bookkeeping to make sure that he can check all that’s going on with his business. He also does his own PR and marketing; handling his social media accounts and collaborating with various people in the fashion industry to promote his brand.


Not Just Luxury Pieces



custom made shoes Marikina

Jefferson’s name in every shoe that he makes



“I want to inspire the market, the people, to believe in our own industry; establishing that premium of custom designer shoes with the stress on the designer.”



For most Filipinos, if they heard someone spending a hefty amount of money on a pair of shoes, eyes will be rolling everywhere. Some think that pricey shoes are luxury pieces and are impractical, but Jefferson wants to change the way people think about shoes. More than a statement piece for every woman, he wants to educate the public that shoe designers exist, and yes there is a thriving shoe industry in our country—not just the typical black shoes, but fashionable, wearable, quality pieces that you can only find in our country.


The 'Jefferson Si Woman'



“I always have that image of a Jefferson Si lady as one that is very sophisticated, career-driven woman that is not fearful of achievements. She is one strong woman that is not dictated by fashion but of style; 'parang' beauty and brains 'kung baga'. She has that courage to stand up on her own. When it comes to bridal, she could also be feminine but outspoken; very graceful yet courageous.”



These are the words that Jefferson Si sees in his clients. His shoes are not just shoes, but a representation of the women who wears them. May she be a school directress from Pangasinan or a blushing bride from Manila, every pair of shoes is unique and has a story of their own. And soon he plans to bring these stories to international platforms to make the shoe industry in the Philippines known to other countries.


Except otherwise indicated, all photos are by ShoppersGuide.com.ph writer and researcher.


BRANCH DETAILS
To know more about Jefferson Si Custom Designer Shoes, contact Mr. Jefferson Si at +63 917-779-5710 or send your inquiries to si.markjefferson@gmail.com.
Facebook Page: facebook.com/customshoes.mjsi
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeffersonsi_designs/

SHARE this ARTICLE
Facebook Twitter Google+

Patricia Marie Prado

Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.

Patricia Marie Prado

Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.

This Chic and Sophisticated Unit in QC Can Be Your Next Home

Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of ShoppersGuide.com.ph (SG) are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, SG does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.

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Your comment is important to us. ShoppersGuide is now notified and will review the comment you sent.

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