Sophia Webster ska leverera Keynote, ta emot ära vid Cordwainers Footwear Awards 2024

2024-05-23 14:11


British footwear designer Sophia Webster will help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Cordwainers Footwear Awards next month.

According to the event organizers, Webster, a graduate of the Cordwainers course at the London College of Fashion, will deliver the keynote speech at the ceremony, slated to take place on June 13 at Saddlers’ Hall in London. Webster will also receive this year’s Sue Saunders Award for Excellence, awarded by nomination to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the footwear trade.

Along with Webster’s appearance, Barbara Hulanicki OBE, the designer and founder of Biba, will produce sketches of the winning designs, which will be auctioned in aid of Cordwainer charities.

“Through the awards, we have seen the emergence of incredible talent, innovation and excellence over the last ten years, not least our first winner, the sneaker designer Helen Kirkham,” Judith Millidge, master of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, said in a statement. “In the last decade we have given away over 100,000 pounds of prize money and promoted the careers of more than 150 students, helping them to achieve their dreams of working in the footwear industry or founding their own businesses.”

As well as the main award, additional categories include the Sneaker/Athleisure Award, which recognizes the innovative design work in this area; and the Sustainability Award, which promotes the incredible work emerging to produce footwear designs that are environmentally sustainable.

An illustration from Barbara Hulanicki OBE.

This year, 16 student finalists from the London College of Fashion and De Montfort University will compete to win the coveted Cordwainers Footwear Award Trophy.

Monetary prizes this year include 3,000 pounds for first place, 2,000 pounds for second place and 1,500 pounds for both the Sustainable Development Award and Sneaker/Athleisure Award winners.

The main judging panel this year includes Joanne Jorgensen, materials design director of Nike Knit; Katie Greenyer creative director of Pentland Brands; Joachim Sedelmeier, head of shoe design at Paul Smith; and designer Charlotte Olympia Dellal.

Established in 2014, the Cordwainers Footwear Awards not only offer footwear design students significant cash prizes and the chance to earn industry recognition for their work, but finalists are also given the opportunity to gain mentoring experience from some of the best names in the British footwear industry.

“We are really proud of that legacy and will continue to nurture and celebrate the talents of the next generation of designers with our annual awards,” Millidge added. “Britain leads the way in footwear design and the industry is worth over 730 million pounds each year in the UK. The Cordwainers are committed to supporting the talent needed to take it forward.”

Invigningsvinnaren Helen Kirkum tillade i ett uttalande att utan Cordwainers-priset skulle hon inte ha kommit dit hon är idag. ”Efter examen ville jag ta en masterexamen vid Royal College of Art, men jag hade ingen möjlighet att finansiera det – förrän jag vann priset. Prispengarna satte mig på min väg”, sa hon.

Efter att ha avslutat sin masterexamen 2016, blev Kirkum uppvaktad av Adidas för att arbeta på dess tyska huvudkontor som assisterande designer på deras Originals-livsstilssortiment för kvinnor. Hon driver nu sitt eget företag i sydöstra London, Helen Kirkum Studio, som specialiserat sig på att producera hållbara sneakers av återvunnet material.

2023 års finalister och domare.

2023 års vinnare ingår första platsvinnaren Jihwi Ahn från De Montfort University och andraplatsvinnaren Daniel Charkow från London College of Fashion. Priset för hållbar utveckling mottogs av Annie Purdy, även hon från London College of Fashion.

Bobby Nangla från De Montfort University blev den första personen att vinna det nya Sneaker/Athleisure Award vid veckans ceremoni. Dessutom vann Georgia Dalloro från London College of Fashion ett första pris, medan kollegan London College of Fashion-student Barney Wardlaw vann det andra priset.

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