Annual Awards 2016
Footwear Friends Tenth Annual Awards Evening
Footwear Friends were proud to host the 10th (!) Annual Awards, which this year were held at the LICC, Vere Street in London on the 19th October 2016. These awards are now a key event in the footwear calendar and are designed to recognise the incredible entrepreneurial talent that is constantly emerging in the footwear industry.
The winners in the various categories were:
The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers Award for Innovation
The first prize of £5,000 plus a 12-months mentoring programme was awarded to Air & Grace. The brand’s owner Claire Burrows explains the uniqueness of her product by saying “Air & Grace shoes have our patented Tender Loving Air footbed hidden inside to give your shoes a sneaker feel. But never at the expense of style. People tell us it’s like walking on little fluffy clouds.” The prize was presented by Jeremy Blanford, Master of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers.
The Micro-Pak Ltd. Award
Sizers, created by Lavina Bonar, won the award of £2,500 plus a 12-months mentoring programme. The product is unique and aims to educate customers that there are sizing options which can be created by the clever shoe insert concept. Lavina received her prize from Ben Wright of Micro-Pak.
The Joe Meltzer Travel Award
This year’s award went to House of Spring and the owner, Radhia, reveals that her shoes are inspired by the elegance and chic of Parisian style and boldness and ebullience of London life. Radhia was pleased to receive her award from Marco Ellerker on behalf of Philip Meltzer.
The BFA/FN PLATFORM Award 2016
The 2016 Award went to Katie Harland of Rogues Shoes. The judges felt that Rogues Shoes is very well placed to take advantage of the prize which is a sponsored stand at the USA’s premier footwear show – FN PLATFORM. The prize was presented by Leslie Gallin of FN PLATFORM.
There are two new prizes.
The Colvanbridge Ltd. Award
Katie Harland of Rogues Shoes has also won the Colvanbridge Ltd. Award which will be a major boost to travel plans over the coming year. Gareth Wright, Managing Director of Colvanbridge Ltd. made the presentation.
The Society of Shoe Fitters Award
Nadia Arden-Scott of the council of the Society of Shoe Fitters, was pleased to present her Society’s Award of a shoe fitting course to Tracey Beaumont, the owner of Beaumont Shoes. Her unique wedges have some intriguing, interchangeable parts, which make her shoes ideal travel wear.
The judges for this year’s awards, Jamie Brogden, Dominic Casey, Marco Ellerker, Ben Wright and Malcolm Collins had to think long and hard in choosing the eventual winners from the 13 applicants who were interviewed. Malcolm Collins of Footwear Friends commented “The standard this year were universally high and the judges were pleased that some of the winners were applicants from previous years who had taken on board the comments from the judges of those years.”
Footwear Friends were delighted that the guest speaker was Andy Rubin, Chairman of Pentland Brands Ltd., which is the largest footwear company in the UK.
The event was generously sponsored by Annette Cove Associates, Clarks, Colvanbridge Ltd., Dune, Pavers, Schuh and Smart Currency Business and Footwear Friends are very grateful for their incredible support.
For further information and a full slide-show of the event photographs please visit our website www.annual-awards.org. Income from this sponsored event goes to the charitable works of Footwear Friends, the only Footwear Industry Charity.