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Future designer shines at UK's biggest footwear trade show


De Montfort University (DMU) student Maya Nishimura has been named the winner of a coveted footwear award, at an event which attracts some of the biggest brands in the industry.

The ‘History in the Making’ project is a collaboration between the university and Moda Footwear - the UK’s largest footwear exhibition - which gives final year Footwear Design students an opportunity to design and develop a shoe inspired by a period in history, whilst combining modern trends.

Six shortlisted students exhibited their designs earlier this month at the prestigious Moda event before the winner was announced at the close of the show.

Maya, who is from Japan, took inspiration from her country’s history and culture to create her design and even used traditional Japanese craftsmanship to make the shoe.

Her design focused on Japanese architecture during the Asuka era (592-645 AD) – a period which marked the emergence of Buddhism and a heavy Chinese influence.

It incorporates elements, such as the shape of traditional Japanese rooftops, with modern footwear trends, such as the use of straps, peep-toe and a high impact heel.

“It was a huge surprise when I was announced as the winner, it still feels unreal,” said the 23-year-old.

“Inspiration for my design came from home and it was great that I was able to use traditional Japanese craftsmanship – something that I have always respected and want to continue to use throughout my career.

“I feel very honoured and I’m sure this great achievement will really help my future career in the footwear industry.”

Sean O’Connor, event director for Moda Footwear and one of the judges, said: “We saw a very high standard of design this season, but Maya’s was the one that most perfectly captured what the ‘History in the Making’ concept is all about.

“It required a high degree of technical prowess to create such a delicate design, and turned its historical influences into a design perfectly in tune with current trends.”

Posted on Monday 4th March 2013

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