New York’s biggest footwear company is starting to see a surge in interest in the craft of mouldering.
The New York Times recently reported that the company has seen its demand for its products rise more than 70% over the past three years, with shoe molders now in demand across the city, from New York to Manhattan.
New York-based shoe molding is known for its high quality, but some people believe it’s only the highest quality on the market, as its molding processes can take upwards of 30 years to finish.
“We’ve been working for decades to get our product into the marketplace and to be able to mold shoes with the quality that we do, and I think that’s the only thing that really sells,” said Richard Lee, owner of The New Yorker, a boutique in New York that specializes in the molding industry.
New Yorkers like the product’s ease of use, affordability and versatility.
And the industry’s ability to take orders from around the world has helped to expand the industry beyond New York.
“In New York, I think people are very aware of the fact that we can produce a very high quality product that is also affordable, and we’re able to sell it,” said Lee.
“People are just not going to be comfortable with the high price that we’re charged, which makes it very attractive.”
In fact, the industry has been growing exponentially in the past few years, and there are now thousands of moulders working in New Zealand, India and the US.
There’s a big demand for moulding materials for footwear, but Lee believes it’s the new breed of moulded shoes that is creating a new kind of luxury.
“The new shoe is a really beautiful product.
It has the quality of a luxury product, but it’s made from a very, very, high-quality product that’s also a great fashion product,” he said.”
I think the trend is that there’s more and more people are looking for quality in their shoes.
The quality is just becoming more and better.”
For example, Lee recently opened a boutique shop in Auckland, New Zealand to cater to the global market, and his company is also planning a new retail outlet in Hong Kong.
But he said there’s still a lot of work to do before moulding will become more mainstream.
“There’s no shortage of moulds, but if you look at the moulding industry in New England and the mould industry in London, we’re still going to have to grow our business, and then it’s going to take time,” he explained.
“That’s where our customers are coming from.”