Three Footwear Design students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have spoken about the incredible opportunities they were given to meet with industry experts during the annual Cordwainers National Footwear Student Awards.
The awards are run by The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, a livery company whose tradition of making shoes within the walls of the City of London dates back centuries.
The Cordwainers have a strong charitable ethos and focus strongly on nurturing young talent in the fashion and shoemaking industries, providing scholarships, bursaries and prizes to outstanding students at De Montfort University and a number of other universities and colleges.
This year, three of the six prizes awarded by the Cordwainers went to De Montfort University students studying the BA (hons) Footwear Design course.
Edina McClelland, from Carlisle, received third prize in the competition.
She said: “I am in shock to have come this far in three years. At the beginning I had never drawn a shoe so to be recognised by the Cordwainers is astounding.
“If anything, this award has really boosted my confidence and self-belief. It allowed me to experience and gain skills by speaking to those in industry.
“I’m hoping this experience will lead to a lot of opportunities. I had chance to speak to the creative director of Pentland as well as the head of design at Paul Smith at the awards ceremony who were both extremely interesting and inspiring to talk to. If anything, this award has really boosted my confidence and self-belief.”
Orla O' Hagan, from Co. Donegal, Ireland, received a commendation for her monochrome menswear statement shoe. She said: “I am honestly overwhelmed to even be considered for the Cordwainers’ awards never mind receiving a commendation.
“To be selected out of all the great talents in the country is pretty amazing and a feeling I’ll never forget.
“Attending the event last night gave me the opportunity to meet and talk to people from the industry about my work and take on all feedback and comments. Having gained a lot of contacts from industry last night it can only have a positive impact on my career.”
Joe Ling, from Cornwall, also received a commendation for his shoes which were inspired by fish.
He said: “I think everyone was nervous about meeting such big names in industry but the people were so friendly. I left feeling that the footwear industry is like one big family.
“My favourite part was presenting my work. I really enjoyed telling people about my influences. I am really passionate about what I do.”
Following in her mother's footsteps leads DMU's Stephanie to success
Georgia overwhelmed as Chancellor Baroness Lawrence picks her shoe design
Dazzling shoe designs win coveted award for DMU student
Master of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, Patrick Peal, expressed his thanks to everyone who supported the awards.
He said: “As the biggest private supporter of scholarships and bursaries to footwear students in the UK, we work very closely with the footwear industry to make it an interesting, challenging and fair competition and to raise the profile of footwear in the UK.
“Britain is the undoubted world leader in footwear education at university level and the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers plays a big supporting role giving away well over £100,000 a year to the footwear and leather education sector in bursaries and scholarships.”
A shortlist of 15 students’ work was presented to the judging panel of Guy West, of Jeffery-West, Atlanta Weller, guest judge Camilla Elphick, and chair Katie Greenyer, Creative Director of Pentland Brands, before the final six were decided upon.
A shortlist of 15 students’ work was presented to the judging panel of Guy West, of Jeffery-West, Atlanta Weller and chair Katie Greenyer, Creative Director of Pentland Brands, before the final six were decided upon.
Posted on Friday 6th July 2018