The UK’s leading membership organisation for the footwear trade has named 50 inspiring, influential and innovative professionals who have shaped the sector in 2022.
9th December 2022.
The British Footwear Association (BFA) has named the 50 individuals who have been selected to feature in its inaugural BFA Footwear50 2022 in Partnership with Micro-Fresh®.
The debut initiative was launched in September 2022 to champion and celebrate 50 people from across the footwear trade. It was designed to recognise the achievements, contributions and leadership skills of people in the industry across six categories: Retailers, Manufacturers, Design Independents, Brands, Suppliers & Wholesalers, and Footwear Supporters.
Highlights include people from schuh, ASOS, Marks & Spencer, The Dune Group, Kurt Geiger, Clarks, Dr. Martens, Loake, Edward Green, Crockett & Jones, Skechers, VivoBarefoot, Pentland Brands, Goldline, Jacobson Group, William Lamb Group and T&A Shoes, among many others.
The announcement of the BFA Footwear50 2022 was made at a special Christmas networking event on the evening of December 8, 2022, at October Gallery in Central London. The event welcomed members of the BFA community for festive drinks and canapes and provided the ideal platform for formally unveiling the Footwear50 for 2022.
Crucially, the BFA Footwear50 includes individuals from BFA Member and non-member businesses, therefore spotlighting the best of the trade as a whole. It includes professionals from a broad array of business sectors and disciplines, including freelance designers, independent consultants, managing directors, CEOs, educators, and sales directors.
Louise Noble Active Category Director at VivoBarefoot, who’s included in the BFA Footwear50 in the Footwear Brands category, say: “Being included in the BFA’s first Footwear50 is a real accolade! It’s not every day you receive a top-secret email inviting you to be part of such an incredible group of individuals. There is an amazing amount going on in the footwear space right now, the industry is changing shape in line with shifting consumer priorities and an unpredictable macro environment. I feel humbled to be part of that evolution, it’s a real honour.”
Also in the Footwear Brands cohort for 2022 is Rosie McKissock, Global Director of Clarks Kids. She comments: “I’m delighted and flattered to be included in the BFA Footwear50. The BFA a fantastic organisation that connects and celebrates our amazing industry, so the inclusion in this list means a lot. There is something special in knowing that the hard work and passion you try to bring to your role is recognised by your peers.”
Tim Payne, Managing Director of Retail at The Clinkard Group, is featured in the Footwear Retailers category. He says: “I’m thrilled to be included in the inaugural BFA Footwear50 as it’s great recognition from our peers. The next 12-18 months are likely to again be very challenging for the manufacturing and retail sectors, so it’s vitally important that the people within the footwear industry work together by sharing best practice. This will ensure we all make it through to the other side with stronger businesses and secure employment for all.”
Nicola Monachello, Buying Director at schuh has also secured a place in the Footwear Retailers category for 2022. She says: “It’s really special to be included in the BFA Footwear 50. I’ve worked in footwear retail and buying since I was a student and continue to be inspired by the skills and talent across the industry. I’m delighted to be a part of this initiative and celebrate the UK Footwear market.”
The announcement of the BFA Footwear50 2022 follows a sector-wide nominations process, which saw the BFA receive more than 100 suggestions of who should be included. A final list of 50 individuals was painstakingly chosen by the BFA team and its Board of Directors between September and December 2022, culminating in the final PDF Guide.
BFA CEO, Lucy Reece Raybould, says: “Despite this being the very first BFA Footwear50, we are thrilled with the response to the initiative and with the remarkable professionals who are featured in this year’s cohort. It has been an inspiring process to write profiles on each individual and find out more about their career history and perceptions of the sector.
“I am excited for BFA Members and non-members to read the PDF Guide and see who has been included; there’s so much talent in our sector that goes under-the-radar and is underappreciated. I hope this changes that.”
Byron Dixon OBE, CEO of Headline Sponsor Micro-Fresh® comments: “The footwear industry has shifted so much over my time in this special community. There are exciting things happening in footwear right now and that’s why it’s great to see such a diverse array of footwear professionals included from all areas of UK trade. It is both humbling, and rewarding, to be personally included in the BFA’s first Footwear50 alongside great company.”
Further sponsors include BFA Member schuh and BFA Partners Modular Commerce, Briffa, Petaurum HR, Fiscal Solutions and Innovation Tax.
The BFA Footwear50 in Partnership with Micro-Fresh® is accompanied by a social media campaign using the hashtag #BFAFootwear50. The PDF Guide can be downloaded here.
Further information about the BFA can be found here: britishfootwearassociation.co.uk.