The inaugural Cordwainers’ Footwear Student of the Year Awards saw students from the three leading universities offering footwear design degree courses competing to carry off the cash prizes and the high-profile exposure across the industry.
The first prize was awarded to Helen Kirkum of the University of Northampton. In second place was Bethany Conway of De Montfort University, followed by Florence Turner of the London College of Fashion. Commendations were awarded to Zuzana Vitamvasova from De Montfort University and Mawuenam Agbenu also of De Montfort University.
Katie Greenyer, Creative Director, Pentland Brands, who led the judging panel, said: ‘We were in awe of the work in front of us from the best crop of footwear designers globally. Helen Kirkum’s entry was an exceptional proposition.’
The prizes were awarded by the celebrated couture shoe designer Jimmy Choo. Representatives from Marks & Spencer, Pentland Brands, Schuh and Spring Line were among the industry guests congratulating the winners.
Caroline Southernwood, Senior Lecturer, University of Northampton and Liveryman of the Cordwainers said: ‘The Cordwainers Footwear Student of the Year Award is a new and specialist footwear award, which will showcase the talents of the next generation of footwear designers. An amazing opportunity, thank you to the Cordwainers Company’.
Kevin Guildford, Course Leader in Footwear at De Montfort University, said ‘This evening has been a fantastic advertisement for what we do in the UK and also for the industry. It’s heartening to see how the Cordwainers are positively supporting the future of the shoe industry’.
Sue Saunders, Senior Lecturer in Footwear at London College of Fashion and a Liveryman of the Cordwainers’ Company, said: ‘The industry and we as universities see this new Cordwainers Award as a really exciting development that will encourage the next generation of world-class shoe designers’.