Behind The Design: Ormani

Designer's Notes - November 19

Get to know our most coveted barely-there mule, Ormani, as we take you behind the design with Mi Piaci Head Designer & Brand Manager, Sarah Street. With over 90% of our range designed in our Auckland based studio, everything we do touches many hands.

What was the inspiration behind the design of Ormani?

Asymmetry has been an aesthetic we’ve been playing into this season, which is especially flattering on the foot. The idea behind Ormani was to create something that was uniquely beautiful, flattering, but also really wearable. The thing with asymmetry is that the lines of the sandal have to fall perfectly to hold your foot in the right place, but also create a really dramatic and aesthetically pleasing line, so it’s all about balance. Introducing the padding to a few of the straps creates a soft play on volume and adds a unique detail to the sandal. The slightly flared mid-height block heel elevates you with all-day wearability.


Could you explain the design process?

We always start by creating trends, identifying key styles/stories, and making sure we’ve covered our best sellers from the last season. I then start with thumbnailing by hand and quickly working through designs to get to styles that I feel confident working up in Illustrator. Then I create line drawings in Illustrator using a Wacom (tablet and stylus) for that sort of natural hand-drawn feeling. Once I have finished the line drawings I do a couple of renderings of each style in photoshop to finalise colours and materials.

During this process, we have several reviews with our buying team to make sure they’re happy with how the range is progressing. From there I create specification packs for installation – these are very detailed technical information packs we provide to our factory which have everything listed from material finish and weights, edge treatments, strap widths and position, linings, trims and so on. If there is a new heel or last to install I also create a technical pack for that.

Once we have installed, we then receive a test pattern from the factory. This is typically made in a standard black leather (for economical reasons) to checking the fitting, strap positions and details. We refined the pattern if required with tweaks/readjustments of lines until we get it as close to perfect as possible. From there we get a final fitting sample to confirm the changes, and often get another sample size to check to see if our grading is correct between sizes. We often get these in our final colours which can then be used as model pairs. It’s a very complex and technical process, but one I find incredibly rewarding.

How would you style an outfit with Ormani?

I love Ormani paired with Jeans, wide leg pants or a beautiful linen dress.

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