Hoaran Qi

In Conversation With: Haoran Qi

March 2, 2022

 Global Footwear Awards winner,  Haoran Qi, discussed Tabi Flow , GFA 2021 winning design.

Global Footwear Awards (GFA) has begun its global search to identify visionary designers in footwear. Tabi Flow was awarded GFA x SHOE GIRLS UP-AND-COMING FEMALE FOOTWEAR DESIGNER.



Tabi Flow is a combination of tabi traditional shoes and 3d printing technology, the definition of the future is not just a pursuit of technology, but our design is a continuation of the classical design aesthetics to the future of a style in their own definition, we aim to define a new sense of authenticity by inventing new products with the usage of classical elements, building and expanding artistic expression through the seasonal projects and collaborations.



GFA talks with Haoran Qi about the winning project


What do you see as the strengths of your winning project? 

I think it’s always too stereotypical to think of style in the usual way, and when we talk about the future we always lose sight of the fact that we are already the future in terms of the past, so with this pair I tried to find a timeless element in the medieval aesthetic and combine it with the fixed impression of tabi shoes to give women’s shoes more possibilities.


What does this award mean to you personally? 

For me it’s actually a recognition and a new beginning to make sure I’m on the right path, so that’s very important.


What is your guiding design principle?

In fact, I have always believed that shoes must be good to wear, because the reason why we will produce love is because of the long contact with the feelings, in other words, a kind of companionship, so I will spend a long time to experience their shoes in the end is good to wear, if he is a beautiful work of art so much that do not want to wear that in my this is not equal to a pair of really good shoes.


What are you working on now, what is in the pipeline for you?

I am currently working on my own footwear brand with my partner and I plan to see you all this year!


What kind of culture or structure needs to exist to foster successful team collaboration?

In my own case, my team members are the first to recognize my design we will work together. I do not like a clear hierarchical relationship. I like everyone can have the enthusiasm to put forward their ideas to collide with each other, enthusiasm is also the most important cohesion.


Which designer in the footwear industry do you most admire and why?

My personal favourites are some of acg’s earlier vintage shoes, which for me would still be relevant even in today’s market.


What would you tell your younger self seeing you winning the awards?

It’s never too early or too late to discover what you love and stick with it.


With so many designs coming out daily, how do you keep pushing boundaries in footwear design?

The information we are exposed to nowadays is exploding and I always look for inspiration from different objects, books, life or nature, the most important thing is to focus on it, believe in yourself and you will be satisfied.


How do you handle pressure in design?

I think pressure is a very important part of the design industry. People hate pressure, but whenever you come up with a great solution under pressure it makes you twice as happy, so I’m comfortable with it and enjoy it.


How do you feel about the impact of new technology towards footwear design and the industry as a whole?

New technology and software iterations will always become faster and faster, but I don’t think it’s a technology-driven world, just like civilization is to globalization, there are always things that are timeless, and the thousands of years of shoe design history is no exception, so I think the ones that survive in the whole industry are the ones that have their own design thinking perspective rather than relying on technology.


The Global Footwear Design Awards (GFA) is announcing winners for its second edition, showcasing a variety of exceptional creative potential across 20+ categories in all levels; Brands, Independent and Students. The GFA recognizes visionary design talent from around the world with an ambition to provide the highest recognition to footwear designers in all categories including sustainability and social impact.

View other GFA 2021 Winners here


The Global Footwear Awards


1318 E 7th St. Suite 140
Los Angeles, CA 90021 USA

unsubscribe | contact