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Cordwainers Footwear Awards

There has never been a more important time to support new ideas and new talent. It’s crucial to help boost the fortunes of the next generation who will design our future.

Michael Atmore, Judge, Cordwainers Footwear Awards, 


Since 2014, the Cordwainers Footwear Awards have been open to students of the three undergraduate footwear design courses in the UK.

Students from De Montfort University, the University of Northampton and London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London submit portfolios which are assessed by a distinguished judging panel drawn from members of the footwear industry.

The awards embody the Company’s core purpose, and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to supporting both the footwear industry and student footwear designers.

In addition to competing for prizes totalling £8,000, finalists will benefit from mentoring and guidance from established footwear professionals.

Sue Saunders Award for Excellence

We are delighted to announce that Sophia Webster is this year’s recipient of the 2024 Sue Saunders Award for Excellence, which is given by nomination to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the footwear trade.

A graduate of the Cordwainers course at the London College of Fashion, Sophia is an entrepreneurial footwear designer with an outstanding global reputation.


The Judges

This year, the judging panel will be led by Liveryman Katie Greenyer, Creative Director of Pentland Brands. She will be joined by:

Joanne Jorgensen, Materials Design Director (Footwear) at Nike

Joachim Sedelmeier, Cordwainer Freeman and Head of Design, Shoes, at Paul Smith

Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Cordwainer Freeman and international footwear and accessories designer

Thank you for the continued support and enthusiasm from our previous judges including:

Michael Atmore, Editorial Director of Footwear News and Director of Brand Development for Fairchild Fashion Media (FFM)

Beatrix Ong MBE, Cordwainer Freeman and luxury footwear and accessories designer

Atalanta Weller, Cordwainer Liveryman and Director and Designer at ATALANTA WELLER

Guy West, Cordwainer Liveryman and Co-founder of Jeffery-West

Emily Linnell, Cordwainer Liveryman and Senior Designer at Start-Rite Shoes


The Students

Every year we are amazed by the creativity and dedication of the entrants and we are never surprised when we hear that they have progressed to their dream jobs within the footwear industry.

The portfolios of the 2021 awards are here.

The portfolios of the 2022 awards are here.

The portfolios of the 2023 awards are here.