An Interview with JIANG Daoyuan, Founder of Badia

I’m afraid that many people are not familiar with this name, but his experience in shoemaking, among domestic shoemakers, is very orthodox and academic. As a Stefano Bemer studio trainee, after returning to China, JIANG Daoyuan became a bespoke shoemaker and later, created his own shoe brand Badia.

As curious as everyone is about this low-key shoemaker and the philosophy of his ready-to-wear brand, Badia, I had the pleasure of interviewing him.

Your experience in shoemaking should be very glamouring, why do so few people know about you?

Because I prefer to make shoes quietly alone, I have not done marketing publicity, and I don’t want to be a famous person.

I feel that my shoes are for ordinary people, and I don’t need the guests to be prominent people.

In addition, I am often abroad, to give myself a quiet environment.

I feel like it’s my way of living and being myself.

How did you come up with the idea to go to Italy to learn how to make shoes?

I studied in France, and after graduating, I worked in a pharmaceutical company and then consulted for a while.

After returning to China, I joined Jimmy Choo’s China operations team. I joined Jimmy Choo because I loved shoes, but then I realized that my day-to-day job was actually a trading company and had little to do with shoes themselves, so I decided to leave.

As for the Stefano Bemer studio, when I was working in France, I went to Italy and came across it, noticed they offer a shoemaking class. I chatted with someone there and dropped it away. When I left Jimmy Choo, I emailed the guy again, then I went on the trip.

What did you do when you came back?

I returned from Italy in June 2018, and since I learned bespoke shoemaking there, I came back to practice this craft naturally.

A very good friend has a tailoring shop in Qingdao and introduced many friends to be my customers.

How many years has the brand Badia been founded? What is the philosophy and original intention?

The answer is very simple.

First of all, my friend hopes that his tailoring store has the category of shoes, and naturally thought of me.

And as a bespoke shoemaker, I make shoes pair by pair and my life was indeed tight. In April 2019, I had this idea, and in July 2019, I established this brand.

I hope to make shoes that everyone likes to wear, and this will allow me to have enough financial strength to improve my bespoke shoemaking skill.

What are the stages and difficulties that Badia has gone through?

I think it’s been through all difficulties, in product development, especially last.

A last was designed from scratch, watching it slowly get better and better, suddenly a change made the beauty go back a little, it was very frustrating. I can only think about how to find it back and optimize again.

The same goes for the upper design.

But fortunately, I am very satisfied with the lasts and products launched.

What is the positioning of Badia?

Badia wants to be the best entry level choice.

I think the most important thing for a brand is the product, so I will make sure that my product is error-free.

The lasts and upper design are the places where I put the most effort into it, and it will definitely satisfy everyone.

I mainly use leather from tannery Annonay (there is an introduction to this tannery at the end of the article), I believe it is also the most mainstream choice.

Although it is Goodyear welted, many products will choose rubber outsole which is more suitable for various climates and more comfortable.

Then the shoes are expected to be experienced by more people, so in terms of dimensions and arch shape, they will be more inclusive.

In terms of shoe styles, which ones do you personally like the most, and corresponding Badia models?

I don’t have a personal preference for shoes, I look at its overall beauty, if the lines are smooth and the proportions are coordinated, I like it. Recently, I have been very impressed with this pair of monk.

In Badia, the newly developed last and upper design have done a good job in this regard, among which BOC, BOA and Loafer are what I appreciate.

What adjective do you want people to describe Badia?

Customers like using the word “tender”, and I feel not satisfied. I hope that adjective is “right”. The right aesthetic and the right wearing experience.

What elements of bespoke shoemaking have you incorporated into Badia?

I think it’s aesthetics and proportions.

For example, when making the last, under the premise of ensuring inclusiveness, it does not appear bulky, so that it still has beautiful lines, and every angle cannot be faulted.

The upper design, on a certain last, find the right position to put down those elements, so that the aesthetics into the invisible, even people who do not know very well about dress shoes, will feel good-looking.

What are the short-term goals?

I don’t have any commercial goals, I think even John Lobb or Edward Green used to be a small shoe store, but because the product was really good and recognized by more and more people, it gradually became famous and was able to expand.

So from beginning to end, I care most about the product, as long as I am still own this brand, I guarantee that every pair of shoes is good looking and easy to wear. I hope that more people can enter the world of high-quality products of welted shoes through Badia.

Annonay Brief Introduction

ANNONAY IS A SMALL TOWN IN FRANCE THAT HAS BEEN MAKING AND PROCESSING LEATHER FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS SINCE THE 13TH CENTURY; LOCATED ON THE EDGE OF THE RHÔNE VALLEY, THE TANNERY ANNERIE D’ANNONAY HAS DEVELOPED NEWER AND BETTER LEATHER TECHNOLOGY BASED ON TRADITIONAL PRODUCTION METHODS, EQUIPPED WITH MODERN AND EFFICIENT PROCESSING EQUIPMENT, AND EMPLOYS 80 PROFESSIONAL LEATHER PRODUCTION STAFF, MAKING IT ONE OF THE BEST CALF LEATHER BOXCALF PRODUCERS IN FRANCE.

FRENCH FASHION BRAND HERMÈS OFFICIALLY ACQUIRED TANNERIE D’ANNONAY IN 2013 TO PROVIDE BETTER AND MORE STABLE LEATHER QUALITY.

“Vocalou” in the Annonay leather category, belongs to the tougher type, pure water dyeing process, leather leaves the factory showing a clear luster, is one of the most suitable leather for general international level formal shoes.

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