About us

The Beginnings
Established in 2016, DSign Step arose out of a passion to celebrate artisinal craftsmanship. Co-founded by Darren Stefanyshyn, one of the leading experts in the world of footwear biomechanics, and his wife Terri; two Calgarians who value authenticity, creativity and quality.

In August of 2015 Darren and Terri sold their vehicles, rented their house and embarked on a year-long sabbatical traveling the world. Inspiration was around every corner but it was a chance encounter with a tiny shoemaker’s shop in Istanbul that provided the incentive to fulfill Darren’s long-standing dream of starting his own footwear company. Darren fell in love with the handcrafted process and spent several days in the workshop with the artisans admiring the skill that only a lifetime of experience in molding and shaping footwear can master. They had found a workshop for their designs. By the time they left Istanbul, DSign Step was born. The company name originated by incorporating Darren’s initials and playing off the obvious association between footwear and step while subtly alluding to the next step for Darren and Terri.


Design Concept – Vintage inspired modern designs
We believe in "slow shoes", not rushing to meet fashion trends. We take inspiration from vintage styles while utilizing modern processes such as laser etching to develop unique, timeless footwear. Our designs incorporate a variety of mixed materials. We select high quality leathers and combine them with less conventional materials like cork, silk, nubuck, wool, suede, tweed, velvet and lace. We love experimenting with a variety of fabrics, colors and textures within each design.

Our designs incorporate aspects from our heritage as well as our travels: the natural hues from the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, the vintage designs from Papaya Design Furniture and Studio in Bangkok, the unique patterns from Gaudi’s Caso Batllo in Barcelona, the vibrant color contrasts from Jelly Bean Row in St. John’s (Terri is originally from Newfoundland).

We produce limited collections. Our footwear is made in small batches by hand: hand cut, hand sewn, hand lasted. Each pair is perfectly imperfect. We believe in workshops and a celebration of the craft of true artisans. 

Design Concept – Comfort through craftsmanship (and science!)
Our designs emphasize comfort and wearability. Darren has spent over 20 years studying footwear biomechanics; footwear performance, footwear fit and footwear comfort. After working with companies like adidas, Fila, Dr. Scholls and Superfeet, he has developed a unique understanding of the science of footwear comfort; the subtle interaction of aspects such as pressure under the foot, stability and movement. By implementing this knowledge and incorporating the skills of the craftspeople in the process, we have developed a line of footwear that is as functional and comfortable as it is beautiful.