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We interviewed the Boreal production manager

Hi Jorge, before we begin we would like to thank you for counting on you on this project. We are especially excited someone from our team expresses their opinion about it in the area of their day to day work. In which the affection and effort is notably evident.

Our BOREAL brand is known by all in the climbing world. However, we find it interesting for the public to learn a little more about the design of the product and where it entails.

BOREAL has associated brand values which directly or indirectly are associated with athletes and they transmit them in the same way to our followers. Do you think it should also be reflected in our products?

Of course it is very important for the values of the brand to be reflected in the products we offer to the market. At Boreal we have always tried to be at the forefront of technology and innovation as national manufacturing requieres a unique value proposition in this sense.

When designing a BOREAL product, what procedure is carried out?

It is a long and laborious process. It depends on the product but for example, to launch a climbing model to market it takes approximately 2 years of work. First there is the development of the last which can take between a year and year and a half. An average of 8 retouches of lasts are made which are tested by our team of athletes for months until we receive the approval. Then the design process and the search for materials that are increasingly prolonged over time. Finally the final product must be tested again to confirm that the materials are correct for the use of the footwear.

In terms of corporate communication, do you keep branding in mind? For example, the colours or the names of the products.

Of course, it's important to keep it in mind. Increasingly. The corporate color must be present in all products and other aspects which identify the brand which must be cared for in a special way.

The quality of our shoes is always reflected, since all of them are checked with exhaustive quality controls. How long does it take to produce a BOREAL shoe? Do all models require the same time?

As we said before, it depends on the product line but it does not take less than 6 months to develop a product. It depends a lot on whether it is a new last or not. The development of a last is quite slow but for example in the case of a proximity shoe where the last of a previous model is used can be around 6 months. In the extreme case of the launch of a new expedition model, it can take between 3 or 4 years of development because of the difficulty of the field test and the long waiting time to obtain the feedback from the athlete.

We interviewed Jorge the production manager

Jorge is sitting in the middle, Dani Andrada on the left and Pedro Pons on the right

The brand has a long history, you know it very well. In your opinion, how has the design of the products evolved through time? Do you have a specific goal for 2019?

Each time had its own requirements. Now a days design and quality are crucial. Without the right design the product isn’t valid. 10 or 15 years ago this was less important, but it is now evident that fashion has entered our industry and is here to stay. Today comfort and weight are also very important. All these were on the back burner in the past, the most important thing was the built quality and the robustness of the product. Today this is not enough. Products obviously have to be “good”, but they also have to be “beautiful”, comfortable and light.

Lets focus on you Jorge, we’d like the public to get to know you a little more.

How long have you been working in this product area?

I have been working for the company for 20 years, but my in-depth involvement in design spans about 6 years.

Why did you decide to work on design? Do you believe it is a vocational profession?

At a personal level I believe I’ve been very close to product development and innovation from a very early age, and it’s what has fascinated me about it. Ever since I was a kid My dad would take me to the factory and I was mesmerized by what was happening there. I suppose it could be vocational, as I’ve been exposes to it since I was a kid.

Every job has its benefits and its disadvantages. What do you like the most and the least?

The truth is I’m passionate about this part of the industry. Each model requires specific actions and we continually develop new ideas and learn from them. A lot of issues arise and solving these makes it even more interesting because you are constantly learning. We say footwear is very unforgiving. Even after manufacturing a product for years a problem may arise and need a solution. It is not an exact science, specifically because the problems are not 100% recurring. Having leather being half a decimal of a millimeter more or less can be a problem. So we need to be constantly alert and ready to solve issues.

To conclude, we would like to as you a more personal question.

What is BOREAL for you?

To me it’s my life. For my brother as well. We sometimes say we don’t do this for money because BOREAL is in our minds 24-7 and 3y5 days a year. It’s my family’s life, my father’s legacy, legacy of the genius he was the creator of all this. I’d like to highlight his work on national outdoors. Till he innovated the climbing shoe, it was impossible for Spain to be considered by country, including  any European country to be a reference for outdoor sports. It was an Italian or German monopoly. He was able to change this and to start what today is national outdoors and elevated to an international level.

Finally, Jorge, thank you once again for your time. We are sure all our followers will enjoy this as much as we have.