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Global Footwear Awards: SCAD student wins emerging designer prize

By FashionUnited


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Winning footwear design by Madeline Helt. Credits: Savannah College of Art and design, photo credits: Bry Aquino

Just before this new year started, in December 2023, the fourth edition of the Global Footwear Awards (GFA) took place. The international competition recognises all areas of footwear, from fashion to sports, and every stage of development from design to the production process.

Candidates for the 2023 edition were nominated in the following categories: brands, independent designers and students.

The winning footwear design in the student or emerging designer category, ‘smocked boot’ was designed by a student from the Savannah College Of Art and Design (SCAD). The designer's name is Madeline Helt from the state of Georgia.

The name of the professor who taught her is Michael Mack, currently professor of sneaker design and professor of accessory design at SCAD. The goal of the ‘smocked boot’ design was to rethink climbing shoes, capitalising on technology to keep warm. The idea behind the sole was to create a two-part system inspired by customisation and sustainability, allowing the sole to be replaced or changed after wearing it.

Global Footwear Awards crowns 2023 winners, including ‘emerging footwear designer of the year’

’The Cryptide’ was the winning design in the brand category. The Cryptide One is a luxury lifestyle shoe completely 3D printed from a single flexible material. It was designed by Stephan Henrich, who studied architecture in Stuttgart and Paris as per his LinkedIn page.

Also among the winners was Pet Liger, a label headed by Constantinos Panayiotou, who was named the overall winner in the independent shoe designer of the year category, with their platform high heels: 'Vertex Love'.

Winners receiving the “The Best Overall Design” included Base Camp Mule by The North Face, 2023 Asics FireBlast Basketball shoe concept by Jake Lin, among others.

Other winners included Bottega Veneta Sardine Boot Concept by Anna Boutashkova, Concept Nike Conqueror by Marc Van Tichelen, Skechers by Jeffrey Hernandez, FILA Wings by Martin Chapuy, Astro Heel by Noriyuki Misawa, Jordan 3 2021 by James Howe and Footwear for Barefoot by Bao Qiancheng.

The jury who evaluated the 2023 nominees comprised industry professionals such as Oronzo De Matteis, CEO, founder and creative director at Orooro Brand Luxury, Monica Mei, footwear designer and product manager at Vera Wang, Mathew Kurien, department head at the MIT Institute of Design, and Fionn Corcoran-Tadd, innovation designer at Adidas, among others.

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