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Helen Kirkham, BA Footwear and Accessories student, The University of Northampton has been awarded winner of The Cordwainers Footwear Student of the Year Competition.
Design students from three UK Universities offering footwear courses were asked to generate a body of research and produce an innovative and marketable shoe design, which could be womenswear, menswear, childrenswear or sportswear etc.
The prestigious judging panel was chaired by Katie Greenyer (Creative Director of Red or Dead, Pentland plc) footwear designer, Atalayna Weller, and Guy West of Jeffrey West shoes. The award was presented by internationally renown footwear designer Jimmy Choo and a speech was given by John Church of Church's Shoes.
Katie Greenyer said of Helen's winning submission work; "There was a real sense of joy in what she was working on coming through in her work"
John Miller - The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers said; “Helen, was the judges’ unanimous choice as winner, and they were ecstatic with the outstanding quality of her work and her clear latent talent.“
The competition marks a new era for the Cordwainers' Company, as it is the first time it has spearheaded a national award. For many years the Cordwainers' Company has been the leading supporter of footwear courses at UK universities by providing much needed scholarships and bursaries.
John Miller, Clerk of the Cordwainers' Company, said; "We are delighted to launch this new national award for the very best footwear design students from these three great universities. We believe this will help Britain to maintain its position as the world leader in the design and manufacture of footwear."
Caroline Southernwood, Senior Lecturer at the University of Northampton and Liveryman of the Cordwainers Company said; "The Cordwainers Footwear Student of the Year Award is a new and specialist footwear award, which will showcase the talents of the next generation of footwear designers. An amazing opportunity - thank you to the Cordwainers Company.''
The award was presented at a ceremony in London on May 16.