The Cordwainers Footwear Award winners have been revealed following a virtual competition and awards ceremony.
Digital portfolios were submitted by students from the three footwear universities: De Montfort University, the University of Northampton and London College of Fashion at University of the Arts, London.
The judging panel this year featured several familiar faces, including FN Editorial Director and Fairchild Media Group Chief Brand Officer Michael Atmore, designers Charlotte Olympia Dellal and Beatrix Ong MBE, Joachim Sedelmeier, head of design for shoes at Paul Smith, and Katie Greenyer, Pentland Brands creative director.
“We had the enviable task of escaping our day jobs and entering into the minds of these passionate, extremely talented footwear designers,” said Greenyer.
The 2021 award winners include first place winner Jihee Ahn from De Montfort University; second-place winner Kamile Peleckyte from London College of Fashion; and third-place winner Reuben Crabbe from London College of Fashion. The sustainability award, which was introduced for the first time this year, was received by Louise Pietrzyk from London College of Fashion.
“It is an honor to be a winner of this award and I will never forget the moment my name was called,” said Ahn. “Due to the pandemic, it has been an unusual environment to design in. However, winning this award has made me very proud of my designs.”
The Cordwainers Footwear Awards were established in 2014 to support the future of the industry by celebrating and encouraging young footwear talent. Previous winners, including Helen Kirkum, Meta Cunder and Ganor Dominic, are making their mark in the industry, having used their prize money to fund further education in footwear design, or start their own footwear design businesses.
“There has never been a more important time to support new ideas and new talent. The world has changed so dramatically over the past year and it’s crucial to help boost the fortunes of the next generation who will design our future,” Atmore said.