Cordwainers names National Footwear Student of the Year

London College of Style student Barbara Fidler was named National Footwear Student of the Year 2018 by The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers at an event in London on June 7.

The annual event at the Clothworkers’ Hall, London, brought together over 200 guests including footwear students, industry influencers and Cordwainer members to celebrate the best upcoming shoe designers in the UK.

The award was open to footwear students at the three universities that specialise in footwear design: De Montfort University; University of Northampton; and London College of Style. Students were asked to submit portfolios of their designs for a pair of shoes and after an initial selection by the universities, the work of 15 finalists was presented to the judging panel of Guy West (of Jeffery-West), Atalanta Weller, footwear designer Camilla Elphick, and chair Katie Greenyer, creative director of Pentland Brands.

Fidler took the top honours, ahead of fellow London College of Style student, Yunfei Ma, who took home the second prize, while De Montfort University student, Edina McClelland was third. There were also commendation mentions for De Montfort University’s Orla O'Hagan and Joseph Ling, and Xiaoyue Wei from the London College of Style.

Commenting on her win, Fidler said in a press release: “It’s a dream come true to have won this award. There are so many amazing students and to be a winner is so unexpected! The Cordwainers Awards is the pinnacle and you know you’ve reached it when you win this award!”

Judge Weller added: “In the five years of the Cordwainers competition, I never yet failed to be excited and impressed by the enthusiasm, talent and professionalism, and most importantly originality, of the 15 designers who have made it to this final judging stage.”

The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers launched the National Footwear Student of the Year Awards in 2014 to support the future of the shoe industry and to celebrate and encourage young footwear talent.

John Miller, clerk at the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers said in a press release: “We are delighted to host this national award for the very best footwear design students. We believe this will help Britain to maintain its position as the world leader in footwear education at university level and also, more generally, the design and manufacture of quality footwear.”

Image: courtesy of The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers