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CLASS OF 2017: Chancellor's approval helps shoe designer land dream job

A bespoke pair of shoes designed for Baroness Lawrence OBE, has been presented to the De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Chancellor by their creator.

Georgia Battell, who graduated on Saturday from DMU’s Footwear Design BA (Hons) course, won a competition created by her course leaders to design a unique pair of shoes for the influential campaigner and member of the House of Lords.

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Georgia Battell presents Baroness Lawrence with her competition winning shoe design

And the now graduate of DMU is also about to begin her dream job after securing a role with one of the UK’s top shoes designers, Sophie Webster based in Shoreditch, London.

Georgia met with Baroness Lawrence to hand over the specially made pair of shoes at a graduation lunch between Thursday’s ceremonies.

This is not the first time a pair of shoes have been designed by a DMU student for someone in the public eye. In 2012, when Her Majesty the Queen visited DMU for the first stop on her Diamond Jubilee Tour, Becka Hunt was chosen to design a pair of shoes for Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge.

Speaking about her special day, Georgia said: “The Baroness tried on my shoes, which is new territory for me to be able to see someone actually wearing the shoes I’ve designed.

“It was really special for me to part of this wonderful project and to be successful in the competition.

“My shoe design was inspired by DMU’s Dare To Be Fearless campaign and encouraging people to out of their comfort zone which this project has definitely encouraged me to do.”

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Students on DMU’s footwear design course were presented with a brief from the Baroness by course leaders in early 2017.

After months of hard work, five finalists were selected and taken to London to meet Baroness Lawrence face-to-face at the House of Lords in Westminster.

The finalists presented their designs and spoke about the inspiration behind each of them.

It was a difficult decision for Baroness Lawrence, but after time to think she selected Georgia’s red and black #DareToBeFearless design.

Baroness Lawrence said: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity for the students to work on this project and a fantastic experience for me too, to meet the students and to have a pair of shoes specially designed for me.

“I had so much to choose from and it was incredibly difficult to decide as the students are all so talented, but I felt Georgia’s design and the way she presented the shoes to me stood out and I could sense her passion for what she had created.

“I wanted something I could wear from day into evening, as I get invited to a lot of places and it is always difficult to decide what to wear and be comfortable for the whole day.”

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Speaking about her design and her new job, Georgia said: “I created something which would have that dual-purpose and be comfortable for her to wear throughout the whole day.

“I can’t wait to start my new job. I’ve done a placement in the industry, but to have my first full-paid role doing what I love is a dream come true.”

Baroness Lawrence looked delighted as she tried on her new shoes and said to Georgia: “Be yourself, never let anyone tell you can’t do something.

“Tell yourself that you can do it and have that self-belief.”

Posted on Tuesday 25th July 2017

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