In the digital age, even pursuits like shoe design rely on various technologies — from Illustrator and InDesign to 3D printing — in order to stay successful. But Cedric Hudson, senior apparel designer for Adidas, cautions would-be designers to not get too caught up in the technology side of things, and to also learn analog skills that will translate to making your visions become a reality.
“Technology is a big, big asset.” Hudson said in his interview with DT Daily. “You have to be well-versed in everything and try and find that balance [between analog and digital].”
While technology is a big part of nearly everything we do in the modern world, Hudson suggests going back to your roots. In his case, this means a more analog approach to design and patterning, like sketching with a pen and paper rather than a tablet to stand apart from the crowd.
Growing up in a creative family, he remembers his mother always creating and his grandmother making dresses for all the women in the neighborhood, Hudson took his love for origami and Legos as a kid and decided to use the passions and skills he learned from his family to go into fashion design.
Hudson transferred to Indiana University, after some time at Virginia Tech, where he participated in track and field as a long jumper. During his second year at Indiana University, he was able to intern for Reebok. Armed with the knowledge to improve his designs, Hudson returned to school, ready to apply his newfound knowledge to his athletic background.
But success didn’t find him immediately, and it would take several years and at least four applications before Hudson got an internship at Adidas, a company he still works for. His love of R&B and jazz, particularly the dichotomy between the old and new, also influences his designs.
“If you want it bad enough, you’ll do what you have to do to get there.” Hudson said. “And sometimes people get real low, but usually when you get real low, that’s when you know a breakthrough is probably on the way — and you just have to push through that.”
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