Experts from iconic footwear brands work with students studying in the “shoe capital of the world”

Date 16.11.2015

Second Year, University of Northampton Textiles for Fashion students have showcased their work to footwear industry experts from brands JuJu and William Lamb.

The group of students have spent the last two months working on a ‘live’ industry project for the two iconic footwear brands undertaking market and competitor research, before designing and pitching their concepts for printed designs suitable for the footwear brands for Spring/Summer 2016 (S/S16).

For the JUJU brand, the students were briefed to design great prints for wellies worn by young, festival going, fashion following clients. While the William Lamb brief focused on creating printed designs fit for the high street audience across a wide range of well know retailers.

Each student had five minutes to pitch their S/S16 print design concepts to Paul and his design team before two lucky students were awarded work placements at JuJu and William Lamb, with two runners up being awarded cash prizes.

Paul Ablett of Rushton Ablett who own the brands JUJU and William Lamb said: “To succeed in the footwear industry today, graduates need to be able to look at their market and competitors, as well as being able to create stunning design concepts that work for the brand.

Paul continued: “”I have been really impressed with the calibre of the talent on show today and I’m delighted to have been involved with this student project.”

“Each student has shown great promise; lots of these design concepts wouldn’t be out of place in our business and are well on the way to being marketable. The ‘shop reports’ produced are insightful and show understanding of the marketplace JuJu and William Lamb are operating within.”

Jane Mills, Senior Lecturer in Fashion said: “Industry collaborations such as this are hugely beneficial for students and they enable students to gain an insight into how the industry works. The project brief was set by industry and all students presented their final print designs by making a professional ‘pitch’ to the company’s MD. Working to both industry constraints and University deadlines are a great way of our students preparing themselves for graduate employment.”

Students Gabrielle Taylor and Shanel Brown impressed with their design concepts and were successfully selected for work placements and a cash prize of £100 each. Students Dakota Wrist and Madia Bostan were also awarded runner up cash prizes.

Gabrielle, who will be joining William Lamb on work placement said: “I’m excited to have the opportunity to develop my knowledge of the children’s wear market with my work placement. I really enjoyed working on this ‘live’ project, working for William Lamb and being involved in creating products for the marketplace will be great.”

Shanel, who will have the opportunity to work with with JuJu, famous for creating “Jelly Shoes”, said: “I’m really looking forward to being involved in JuJu footwear, from concept creation, to hopefully seeing the things I get the chance to work on in store.”