The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, which organises the annual Cordwainers National Footwear Student Awards, has confirmed that the 2020 competition will go ahead as planned, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Cordwainers said that the awards team, students and judges would all work remotely, “taking advantage of digital technology to ensure that the students can still benefit from this career-defining event”.
The Master of the Company, Nigel Easton, explained: “We are able to run our prestigious annual competition in spite of the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus emergency. The Cordwainers National Footwear Student of the Year Awards are the embodiment of the Company’s core purpose, demonstrating the Company’s commitment to supporting both the footwear industry and student footwear designers.
“This year students from the three footwear universities - De Montfort University, the University of Northampton and London College of Fashion at the University of the Arts, London, will submit their portfolios digitally, our judges will deliberate via email and video conference.”
This year’s prize fund is almost 12,000 pounds, including a 5,000 pound prize for the winner, who will be announced in June. The Cordwainers’ Company added that it is hoping to mark the achievements of the talented students with an awards ceremony in the autumn, which will bring together some of the finest names in British footwear.
Easton, added: “We are pleased to be able to continue to celebrate the talent emerging from British universities especially at a time when final year students are facing disruption to their studies and degree awards.”
A representative of London College of Fashion said: “Our students place high value on this award and they welcome the connectivity this gives them to the industry and the other competing universities.”
The Cordwainers National Footwear Student of the Year Awards was launched in 2014 as a way of supporting and encouraging young shoemakers and footwear designers. Past winners have gone on to great things including have their shoes worn by celebrities such as Lady Gaga, secure jobs with the best names in footwear design such as Jimmy Choo, as well as establish their own businesses.