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London student wins Cordwainers’ award

The Cordwainers’ Footwear Student of the Year competition was held in London on June 6 with a total of 15 footwear design students presenting their ideas. Three universities at the forefront of footwear design education in the UK, London College of Fashion, De Montfort University and the University of Northampton, were each represented by five students.

London College of Fashion student Meta Cunder was the winner of the 2019 award. Her work comprises designs for performers in the London drag scene and includes a thigh-high leather boot decorated with accessories that look like eyes on the front and side of the stock. Another of her boot designs has an animal’s mouth built around the vamp so that, in the words of Ms Cunder, wearers will feel “that they are part of the beast”.

A previous winner of the award, Helen Kirkum, gave the keynote speech at the event. Ms Kirkum won the inaugural Cordwainers’ National Footwear Student of the Year Award in 2014 while completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Northampton. She went on to study for a master’s at the London College of Fashion and then worked for adidas in Germany before returning to London to set up her own studio.

Master of the Company of Cordwainers, Jonathan Hooper, said the organisation, one of the ancient livery companies of the City of London, had been nurturing and encouraging emerging talent in the footwear trade for nearly 750 years. He added: “This evening is hugely important as it provides the students with the opportunity to network with the most influential people from across the sector and, in turn, enables industry professionals to meet the footwear stars of the future.”

Left to right: Helen Kirkum, Jonathan Hooper and Meta Cunder.

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