$1m footwear design school opens here

A new facility to train up to 300 aspiring footwear designers and technicians a year opened on Tuesday.

The $1 million Bronx Creative and Design Centre will offer a range of courses for novices through to industry professionals, covering topics such as the shoemaking process and how to make footwear prototypes.

It will employ 10 teachers.

The home-grown sneaker company Bronx has linked with education group Raffles Education Corporation to develop a curriculum for the centre, which is at the Natural Cool Lifestyle Hub in Tai Seng Avenue.

"Today, it is very difficult to find a pair of shoes that you love, find very comfortable and yet, at not so high a price," said Mr Leow Hai Keun, the centre's vice-president of industry development.

"There is therefore a huge opportunity for shoe makers and traders in this aspect. More foot-friendly features with elegance, but not with the high price."

The Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck told the opening ceremony that the centre will give Singapore-based fashion companies direct access to training, instead of having to send their staff overseas.

Though most apparel and footwear manufacturing has moved out of Singapore to lower-cost countries, fashion companies continue to carry out business management and other knowledge-intensive activities here, added Mr Teo.

"A footwear service centre in Singapore gives designers direct oversight of the production process so as to ensure their designs are properly interpreted as good quality prototypes before they go into production," he noted.