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Footwear Friends Annual Awards 2014 – Update

We are pleased to provide the following update on the progress made by the three businesses who won the awards in 2014.

Mentoring support for the winners from experienced industry professionals is a key feature of the awards and all three businesses have been assisted in their development.

Matt Horan – Rollasole – Cordwainers Award

It was our first recognition in the industry after many years so personally it was a fantastic recognition of all the hard work over the years and it put our brand on the map within the industry.

We were able to commit full time to a PR agency that has boosted our profile significantly over the last 12 months.

We have established ourselves with Debenhams and have recently secured a trial contract with Accessorize who we launch a range with next month. Our international growth has been fantastic with big inroads made into the US and Middle East.

Jonathan Matthew – Solillas – Micro-Pak Ltd. Award and FN PLATFORM Award

In 2014/15 Solillas continued to grow in the UK, the summer saw the brand carried in all Office stores UK wide, as well as Topshop, House of Fraser and Selfridges. We launched our premium Luxe collection in Selfridges and significantly grew our international retail network.

The BFA/FN Platform Award helped the brand show at the February FN Platform in Las Vegas. This show helped crystalise orders with several large US majors. Our US brand presence has increased over the last 12 months and we are now carried in numerous fashion forward high end boutiques including Fred Segal in Los Angeles.

The Micro-Pak Award helped provide mentoring guidance, which has helped the company shape it’s strategy for SS16 and beyond and plan for international growth.

In mid 2015 Solillas won the Drapers Award for Best New Business which was also an honour and a huge surprise up against some great competition.

Our SS16 range will be shown at Pure, Moda, MICAM, FN Platform and Sole Commerce. The company now has distributors in Korea, Hong Kong and Canada, as well as relationships with fashion forward majors in Japan, the US and Middle East.

Solillas would like to give a huge thanks to Footwear Friends and Micro-Pak, BFA and FN Platform for the awards, and a further thanks to the BFA for their ongoing support to Solillas.

Jane Cunneen/Scott O’Connor – Dear Frances – Joe Meltzer Travel Award

The Footwear Friends Award has assisted Dear Frances in the development of our brand throughout AW15 and helped us to realise our wholesale distribution goals for the season. For Winter 2015, we will add over 10 new stores to our list of retail partners, increasing our exposure both locally in the UK and internationally in the USA, Japan, France, Canada, Germany and Australia.

Through the award scheme, we were lucky enough to gain ongoing mentorship with Georgina Goodman, which has offered a wonderful opportunity for us to learn from her invaluable industry experience, in particular streamlining our business strategy and seasonal merchandising advice.

Dear Frances now presents four seasons per year and will unveil the new season SS16 this September in London and Paris and for the first time in New York.

The 2015 awards evening will be held at St. Mary at Hill Church in Eastcheap, London on the 22nd October.

For more information on the event and how to apply for your tickets, please click here.