AIR FORCE 1 CLASS OVERVIEW
(Each Class is 5 Days)
A TRUE HERITAGE SNEAKER
The AF1 is a true heritage sneaker that has been a staple in street culture for almost 40 years. The silhouette has stood the test of time and at the core, it’s a simple & comfortable sneaker that just works. The AF1 is one of our favorite sneakers to make as it has the right amount of panels to create a complex color block or can be left simple with an upgraded hit of a BAPE logo.
When we set out to create a course for the AF1, we knew the process had to be right. From the last to the patterns, we spent thousands of hours engineering the last and patterns to work seamlessly. We have engineered the patterns and course be straight forward and easy to understand throughout the process.
In this course you will learn how to properly read and lay out patterns for cutting, how to prepare your leather (skive, back and pre-fit), step by step instruction of how to deconstruct your upper from the sole to step by step of building your new upper to OEM to Luxury standards.
We teach our students exactly how we constructed our sneakers in our own production. Each student will get to use and experience factory style machinery to get the best possible understanding of how factories produce their footwear. That said, we provide alternate solutions to achieving the best way to make a sneaker WITHOUT all the expensive machinery.
By allowing our students to use and experience the correct machinery, it will prepare them to know when they need to implement that machine into their operation or micro factory as they scale their skills.
Throughout the process, we provide invaluable tricks and tips to not only save our students valuable time, but also prevent costly mistakes that most schools fail to provide. We pride ourselves on the attention to details, that said, our AF1 course is nothing short on the details needed to help our students to build their own factories.
After our students complete the course, we understand their will always be questions. To further reinforce the course, we provide our students access to our online RESOURCE CENTER, where they can revisit techniques and learn additional techniques as their need for knowledge increases with their skills.
The best analogy would be restoring the paint on an old car. It takes hundreds of hours to prepare the body before the car can be painted. Painting the car itself can be done in a day, but finishing the paint after it dries and the preparation that lead to painting is a slow process.
Much like painting an old car, there’s a lot of pre-fit (process of prep before you stitch your upper) and understanding of how to prepare your leather, materials and handle your upper before you can master the Art Of Manufacturing a sneaker.
We spared no expense to replicate the iconic 1985 toe tip and vamp but also the volume to ensure the J1 fits better then the original. We opted to use a Sliding Hinge which is designed for OEM strobel construction & make it easier for our Students and Club members last their uppers. That said, if you are doing a untraditional J1 board lasted upper, this last will also work, but of course the upper will not flex or be as comfortable as the OEM strobel construction.
When setting out to develop the J1 patterns, we spent thousands of hours studying the fine details and evolution of the J1 patterns and construction to hybrid the simplicity of the 1985 OG to the engineered strobel construction of what we buy today on the weekly drops. We spared no expense on patterns to fit our J1 last perfectly.
Most shoe schools and websites try to give aspiring designers and shoe makers the impression that they can create OEM style sneaker patterns by hand. The reality is that all big brands and manufacturers develop their patterns digitally from their digitized lasts.
CAD Engineered Patterns
We have spent over 12 years spent developing our pattern making skills and thousands of dollars in development so our Students and Club Members can simply “Manufacture Their Art” instead of making patterns by hand, one size at a time.
All of our patterns are created using specialized footwear CAD software to ensure patterns have the highest accuracy for pre-fit allowances, perfectly engineered for seamless construction and grading is properly done to match the last whether you order a size 6.0 or 18.0.
Hand Strobel Technology
As mentioned previously, we are all about the details, especially when it comes to our patterns. Over the years, we have heard countless complaints about how difficult it is to hand last, sand, fill and lay the upper on the sole properly. Since 2010, we have been using strobel construction on our footwear designs. The beauty of strobel is that your upper fit perfectly on your last. The bad news is that without CAD software, it’s almost impossible to get perfectly engineered and graded patterns to your last.
All that said, we went a step further to break down the barriers to entry on strobel construction. Today you can find very inexpensive strobel machines to strobel your upper to your strobel sock, but the operation of the machine and the upper has the greatest learning curve. It takes a lot of practice and hand strength to ensure your upper is properly attached to your strobel sock. To save our students and Club members a lot of time, money and frustration, we engineered Hand Strobel Technology. Each outside radius pattern piece is digitally matched to engineered to work with the strobel sock and all you need is a needle & thread.
If you’re board lasting your custom sneakers, you might want rethink your construction. Most Customizers today make “Board Lasted” sneakers because the patterns they buy or create by hand have large margins of errors. Board Lasted patterns allows the shoe maker grace to make mistakes, but the upper will not be as flexible or accurate as a digitally engineered strobel patterns.
We have taken the guesswork out of pattern making and created an OEM quality construction process that allows even an entry level customizer with the ability to finish the upper just like a factory.
Simply punch holes (denoted on our pattern board) on your upper and your strobel sock…grab a needle and wax thread and match the starting point on your upper hole numbers to your strobel sock & within 10-15 minutes you have closed your upper. Lightly steam your upper and last your finished upper on the AM1 last and your upper will sit perfectly on your last and sole…it’s really that simple. If you’d like to see more about this process, you can visit our Resource Center.
STROBEL = Better For The Environment & Lower Material Cost
NO MORE Toxic Glue, Nails, Lasting Pliers, Stiff Lasting Board, Sanding and filling your upper, Valuable Time Lost & material costs and lastly, No More Hand and Wrist Injuries!