Annual Awards 2008
On a beautiful Remembrance Day evening 160 Footwear Friends supporters met under the amazing Chihuly chandelier in the entrance to the V&A. It was their annual Designers Award evening. The buzz began as people first strolled around the “Fashion versus Sport” show, sponsored by Ecco. They had also generously invited FF’s to gather there that evening.
The president, Richard Paice thanked particularly the sponsors, Hush Puppies and Lotus for their support for the award, and remarked on the wonderful spread of generations present that evening. He then introduced the speaker for the evening, Gemma Treglia, director of design and innovation at Clarks, who regaled the audience with her views on the show. This was followed by the presentation by sponsor and judge, David Rist, of Hush Puppies to Thomas Murphy of this year’s designer award. This was followed by a new travel award, donated by Philip Meltzer in honour of his father, Joe, to Rachel Jones.
Much mingling and networking seemed to be going on and it was only at 9:30pm that the last guests reluctantly left. There had certainly been some magic in the air that night.
Sam Jones and Richard Paice
From left to right: Amanda Burrows, Alex Findley, Vicki Day and Richard Paice
Winning the Footwear Friends Designer Award 2008 has enabled me to develop my business under the guidance of experienced members of the UK footwear industry. The financial support the prize offers has given me the opportunity to invest in new constructions for my latest collection, adding to the signature look of my designs. I have also benefited from mentoring sessions where my designs, business plan and marketing strategies have been discussed. These meetings have given me fresh ideas, helping me to focus on the direction I want my business to take. I believe that the Footwear Friends Designer Award gives young designers the best possible chance of succeeding as they take their first steps in the footwear industry.Thomas Murphy
Winner of the 2008 Designer Award
Having studied textiles and long been fascinated with Lyubov Popova – from her fascinating paintings through to her witty textile prints – and having just seen the Constructivists exhibition at the Tate Modern I decided that a trip to Vienna was in order to take in inspiration for my spring/summer 2010 collection. The beauty of the architecture’s Jugendstil details and the fabulous art collection housed in the Leopold museum proved to be amazingly inspirational for the new collection of criss-crossed elastic sandals in muted neutrals shades and tumbled leathers. It also encouraged me to play with tradition by under-exaggerating brogue details and making courts and sandals in unexpectedly brogued colour highlights.
The city – with its traditions in bridle crafts and equestrianism – also re-affirmed the natural beauty of Veg-tan and so the new collection heavily features the leather at its core. I also showed at Micam for the previous autumn/winter 2009/10 season and put some of my prize fund towards travel and accommodation. Although this season was particularly difficult with the current economical climate this was the first time I had showed there and it proved to be a great learning experience. The luxury as such a small brand to be able to go on such trips is a spectacular opportunity and would have not been possible without the help of the Footwear Friends charity and generosity of the Meltzer family. I thank you both greatly.Rachel Jones
Winner of the 2008 Joe Meltzer Travel Award