Cordwainers National Footwear Student Awards 2016

Back in May I judged the Cordwainers National Footwear Student Awards, with fellow footwear designers Guy West – Jeffrey West and  Atalanta Weller.

There are only three specialist footwear university courses within the UK – London College of Fashion, Northampton and De Montfort. So the competition is tough, and there is passionate rivalry! So much so that all work entered is anonymous, – so no favouritism from us!

The aim of the brief set was to generate a body of research, and produce an innovative and marketable shoe design which could be womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, or sportswear.


Last night was the Awards ceremony. What a night! Hosted by The Cordwainers Livery Company and attended by the heavy weights of footwear trade. We were all treated to a passionate and humble talk by Sophia Webster – what a babe!

I had the unenviable task of presenting the awards;

  • In 3rd place: Claire O’Connor, with her wonderful collection of footwear inspired by a telephone exchange.
  • In 2nd Place: Chantal Lavender with her beautiful collection of  Clown faced children’s shoes.
  • In 1st Place: Overall winner Caroline Klemp a footwear collection inspired by surf and sails.

It’s a real credit to Northampton, LCF, De Montfort, and the staff, who I know all work incredibly hard to drive, nurture and direct the students to become the best crop of footwear designers globally. It’s great to know that we have such talented designers coming through these institutions and that we have the opportunity to employ and benefit from their talents.


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