Thursday 11 June 2015

Helen Kirkum with Jimmy Choo receiving Cordwainers Award

Five budding footwear designers from the University of Northampton are in the running to scoop a top prize at the National Footwear Student of the Year 2015.

The competition is being hosted by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers for the second year and students from the University of Northampton are invited to enter, alongside students from De Montfort University and London College of Fashion.

In 2014, University of Northampton student Helen Kirkum was awarded first prize and received her certificate from the legendary Jimmy Choo. This year, five Northampton students are taking part in the competition – Tiffany Ruff, Heather Jenkinson, Sarah Newman, Amy Darwin and Daniyal Khan.

The judging team are three highly respected members of the footwear trade: Katie Greenyer, Creative Director of Pentland Brands, footwear designer Guy West, of Northampton-based Jeffery-West and shoe designer Atalanta Weller. The awards ceremony will take place at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Thursday 18 June and co-insides with a major new exhibition, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, which is being supported by the Cordwainers.

Jane Schaffer, Senior Lecturer in Footwear and Accessories at the University of Northampton commented: “We are honoured and thrilled to be competing in this very prestigious award, which celebrates and recognises talented young designers specialising in footwear. The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers supports all three universities with generous bursaries which help facilitate and enable the students to pursue their chosen career path. The British education system provides design studios across the world with first class designers, product developers and technical specialists. This award recognises the very best footwear students and competition is going to be fierce. We wish our students the best of luck for the awards evening at the V&A later this month.”

The Cordwainers has a strong charitable ethos and as a world leader in the education and support of the shoe industry, their primary focus is to nurture young talent, providing bursaries to students and entrepreneurs enabling them to become top shoe designers.

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