Annual Awards 2017
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Wednesday, October 18th was the night that the Footwear Industry celebrated a new generation of emerging talent.
Both the leaders of the industry and a veritable host of new talented designers of developing brands celebrated at the LICC, St. Peter’s Church in Central London. The annual event, now firmly implanted in the industry’s calendar, was not only to celebrate the awards but also an opportunity to raise funds for Footwear Friends, the industry charity.
The Footwear Friends Annual Awards are now in their 11th year and in that time have been recognised by the trade as an important way of spotting and rewarding British talent in the Footwear Industry.
Around 100 guests who gathered at the event were addressed by the key note speaker, Peter Youell, Managing Director of Skechers UK & Ireland.
The winners in the various categories are:
The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers Award for Innovation
Bethany Jarroussie of Bimble Shoes was awarded a £ 5,000 bursary aimed at developing a Young Designer’s business. The Award is generously sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers and includes a 12-months mentoring programme by industry experts. The Master, Patrick Peal, presented this year’s Award.
The Micro-Pak Ltd. Award
This year’s award went to Shoes by Shaherazad. The award of £ 2,500 is designed to assist the development of exceptional British talent and also includes a 12-months mentoring programme. The Award was donated by Micro-Pak Ltd. and was presented to Shaherazad Umbreen by Ben Wright.
The Joe Meltzer Travel Award
The Award of £ 1,000 was presented by Mark Jeffery to Al King of Kings of Somerset and is primarily to assist candidates in attending key trade shows and researching materials and trends. Donated by Philip Meltzer in memory of his late father, Joe Meltzer. Again this Award includes a mentoring programme.
The BFA New Exporters Award
The Award for 2017 went to Julian Hakes of Oscar & Hamish. The winner of this award will receive guidance, mentoring and funding support to help him exhibit at a key international trade show and was presented by John Saunders.
The Colvanbridge Ltd. Award for Travel
Charlotte Mills was presented with the Award by John Cass of Colvanbridge Ltd. This Award of £ 500 is aimed to assist with the cost of travelling to trade shows and exhibitions.
The Society of Shoefitters Award
The Award consists of a footwear and shoe fitting course run by the Society of Shoe Fitters, worth £ 500 and was presented to the Winner Danielle Wathes of Percy Stride by Laura West.
Again this year has seen an increase in applicants, and the judges were impressed by the great response by candidates for the competition who all put a great deal of work into their business plans and presentations. Sadly there is only room for six winners of the awards, but there is no doubt in the quality of our home-grown talent.
Footwear Friends are grateful to the event sponsors without whom the evening would not be possible: Clarks International, Colvanbridge Ltd., Dune, Pavers Ltd, Pentland Brands, Schuh Ltd., Start-rite Shoes Ltd., The University of Northampton and the William Lamb Group and we are delighted that so many people attended the event and by doing so supported the trade’s unique charity.