If I could, I would create virtual shoe designs all damned day. I would just sit at my computer and make pictures of shoes. Oh wait . . .
That's nearly what I have been doing.
This is the second most addictive thing I've ever done - tango is the most addictive, of course. When people started asking me how a particular shoe model would look with different materials, I thought I'd just grab the image from the Mr. Tango Shoes website (with permission of course), and clone the materials from pictures of swatches. Once I started, . I . could . not . stop. I haven't even figured out what shoes *I* want yet!
And then I found a way to make animated .gifs . . .
Clearly, a monster has been created.
Not only do I have a wonderfully creative outlet to mitigate some of the stress I've been under, but it's sufficiently geeky to hold my interest longer than half an hour! People have been emailing me from all over the country (and Canada!) to see if I could design a shoe for them.
I've got 88 Mr Tango Shoes ladies models rendered and posted now - including the "Pucca" and "Fernanda Ghi" practice shoe models. Per one dancer's request, I even rendered the fabulous two tone "Dinzel" in some white/black, red/black, and red/white Swing dancing varieties. If you have a shoe idea you'd like to see, send me a message, or comment here, and I'll see if I can design it and render it for you! Now, not only can you order a custom shoe, but you can see a close approximation of how it will look before you order it! (Believe me - that's handy. There have been a couple of what I thought would be gorgeous combinations that were, well, not so gorgeous. Hey, they can't all Mona Lisas, you know . . .)
Ladies Shoes Gallery on Picasa: https://plus.google.com/photos/103462873333877980961/albums/5987102264003309361
The gentlemen's models can be found here: https://plus.google.com/photos/103462873333877980961/albums/5990097575743994897
Soon I was thinking beyond just materials customizations to structural ones. Adjustable toe box buckles are tremendously helpful for people with hard to fit feet, or bunions, or compressible feet, etc. Soon I was sending Jorge Nel a steady stream of "Can we do this?" emails. Toe Box buckle? Yes. Flexible shank/flexisole shoes? Men's shoes, yes. Women's shoes, not yet. Completely custom material to match a performance outfit? Yes. The list has been growing.
In September I will be going to the Colombia Tango Festival and then visiting the Mr. Tango Shoes factory in Manizales for a few days to learn how the shoes are made, how to design them, and how to repair them. Who knew dancing tango would lead to a complete change in careers?
Meanwhile, dancers from all different styles, from beginners, to professional performers, have been writing to me to tell me what they like about Mr. Tango Shoes - and what they would like adapted. Jorge Nel has been completely open to ideas - as he always has been. Now I understand why so many dancers are so loyal to Mr. Tango Shoes - even if they dance Salsa, or Ballroom, and not tango.
Check out the website, www.mrtangoshoes.com, to see current models, heel options, and materials. Then you too will find out why Mr. Tango Shoes' amazingly comfortable dance shoes are so popular with dancers from salsa, ballroom to blues, tango and swing! (See a review from a salsa dancer here.)