You may have heard us mention that our d'Orsay sneakers are made in small batch production, which means quantities are limited. We recently visited our sneaker factory in the Alicante region of Spain and brought along our friend and photographer, Maria del Rio to document the steps to making one pair of sneakers. There are over 200 steps in this arduous process and many hands will touch one shoe. Our sneakers are very unique because, in order to obtain the d’Orsay look, we have to use a vulcanized sole. We found the only factory in Europe that can accomplish this technique and they were kind enough to let us show you the process. It means so much to us that our worlds are finally meeting. As the importance of knowing where products are coming from and who is making them, it is our extreme pleasure to introduce you to our family in Spain. This is who makes your sneakers.
Rafa, Cristina, Raul, Megan, and Miguel in our sneaker factory. Miguel owns the factory and Rafa and Raul run all of our production in Spain.
Cut and prepare the uppers to be sewn.
Stitch the uppers, add the interfacing + lining, and punch lace holes.
Prepare the shoe to be lasted, which means put on a shoe form. This gentleman is making sure the heel counter and upper are firmly attached to the interfacing, so the shoe maintains its structure.
Last the sneaker and prepare for the vulcanized sole application. (The process of vulcanizing rubber is tricky and our factory has a very special and proprietary technique. We will be able to show you a little, but not all for this reason!)
They lace on a hard piece of plastic to protect the tongue of the shoe from the heat when it is put in the oven to mold the rubber soles together.
One layer of the rubber sole is adhered to the bottom of the shoe and then wrapped with a rubber outsole before it goes into the oven.
A very small amount of shoes can go into the heat at one time and they are in there for up to 1.5 hours. This adds a lot of time to the production process, but it’s truly what makes vulcanized rubber soles so special.
After the sneakers are cooled off, the soles are buffed to make sure they are clean and uniform. All of the seams need to be flush. The uppers are inspected and cleaned before they move onto the lacing and polishing.
The sneakers move onto the finishing section where there are laced, polished and boxed!
Checking out new developments in the design studio upstairs.
The outside of the factory.
A walk after lunch.
Cris and Raul
Back in Valencia heading to dinner and drinks at the Mercado Colon. The perfect ending to our day!
Shop the EDA d'Orsay Sneaker here.