Cordwainers kick off 2024 Footwear Awards

Judith Millidge's Photo

Footwear designer Sophia Webster to deliver keynote speech
Barbara Hulanicki to produce sketches of winning designs

The 2024 Cordwainers Footwear Awards will take place on Thursday 13 June, when 16 finalists will compete to win the coveted Cordwainers Footwear Awards Trophy. This year’s awards mark a decade celebrating future talent and international footwear designer Sophia Webster will be the keynote speaker.

Barbara Hulanicki OBE, the iconic fashion designer and founder of Biba, will produce sketches of the winning designs, which will be auctioned in aid of Cordwainer charities.

“Through the awards, we have seen the emergence of incredible talent, innovation and excellence over the last ten years, not least our first winner, the sneaker designer Helen Kirkham,” said Judith Millidge, Master of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers. “In the last decade we have given away over £100,000 of prize money and promoted the careers of more than 150 students, helping them to achieve their dreams of working in the footwear industry or founding their own businesses. We are really proud of that legacy and will continue to nurture and celebrate the talents of the next generation of designers with our annual awards. Britain leads the way in footwear design and the industry is worth over £730 million each year in the UK. The Cordwainers are committed to supporting the talent needed to take it forward.”

As well as the main award, additional categories include the Sneaker/Athleisure Award, which recognises the innovative design work in this area; and the Sustainability Award, which promotes the incredible work emerging to produce footwear designs that are environmentally sustainable.

This year, the Sue Saunders Award for Excellence, awarded by nomination to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the footwear trade, will be presented to Sophia Webster. A graduate of the Cordwainers course at the London College of Fashion, Sophia is an entrepreneurial footwear designer with an outstanding global reputation.

We wish all the entrants the best of luck and can’t wait to see their designs.