Eichenseer's unique hobby: designing shoes

Alex Lento

By Avery Maier, ’13, Contributor

While the hobbies of some CCDS students include playing sports, singing, and dancing, senior Olivia Eichenseer’s hobby stands out from the crowd.

In 2006, the summer before her freshman year, Eichenseer, the graphic designer and a webmaster for The Scroll, moved to Cincinnati from Los Angeles. After the move, she felt a little disconnected from her friends back home, so she decided to design shoes for them. “I wanted to give my friends something special for their birthdays since I don’t see them that often,” Eichenseer said. Eichenseer plans each design “to fit the personality of the person the shoes are for,” she said, although sometimes her friends already have “something in mind as to what they want the design to look like when they come to me.”

The design process is tedious. Eichenseer begins by sketching the preliminary design drafts. Next, she either copies the design onto the shoes using a graphite transferring technique or draws directly on them, using the sketch as a reference. Then she uses permanent waterproof pens to add color to her designs. Her inspiration comes from a variety of sources, including music and her imagination.

Does Eichenseer ever keep any of her one-of-a-kind shoes for herself? “Nope, [I just wear] my worn-out checkered Vans slip-ons that I’ve been wearing since freshman year,” she said.

“Her shoes have really great, creative designs and are supercool,” said Jeremiah McCall, history teacher and Grade 9 Humanities Coordinator.

Eichenseer doesn’t envision herself becoming a shoe designer. “I enjoy doing it, and it provides an intriguing medium to work for my art,” Eichenseer concluded. To her, though, it is “purely just a hobby.”

Photos courtesy of Olivia Eichenseer.