The Cordwainers Footwear Awards ceremony was held at the Clothworkers’ Hall, London on Thursday 9th June, when over 200 guests including footwear students, industry influencers and Cordwainer members came together to celebrate the best upcoming shoe designers in the UK. The prestigious evening included an inspirational keynote speech from Scott Emerson, Head of Footwear design at Alfred Dunhill Ltd, who shared his own fascinating footwear career journey before encouraging the students to find their own path in the industry, “We have such a fine tradition of producing world class footwear here in the UK and it’s up to you, to take this forward with the same skills, into the future.”

Another highlight of the evening was a special video message for this years finalists, from
Honorary Liveryman Datuk Proffessor Jimmy Choo OBE.

The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers launched the Cordwainers Footwear Awards in
2014 to support the future of the shoe industry and to celebrate and encourage young
footwear talent. The Cordwainers award prizes worth £12,000 every year and organise
mentoring with industry leaders for the award winners. Previous winners are making their mark in the industry and have used their prize money to fund further education in footwear design or start their own footwear design business. Applications are invited from the footwear students at the three universities that specialize in footwear design, De Montfort University, University of Northampton and London College of Fashion. The students submit portfolios of their designs for a pair of shoes and after an initial selection, the work of the finalists is looked at by an exceptional panel of judges. This year, the panel was led by Cordwainer Liveryman Katie Greenyer, with Freemen, Beatrix Ong MBE, Charlotte Olympia Dellal and Joachim Sedelmeier.

The Master of the Company Peter Lamble led the award ceremony and expressed his delight in being able to welcome the finalists, the universities, and industry guests back to the first physical event since 2019. The Master then handed over to Chair of the Judging panel, Cordwainer Liveryman, Creative Director of Pentland Brands, Katie Greenyer to announce the winners. Katie explained how enjoyable the judging process was for the whole panel, “Being involved in the Cordwainers Footwear Awards is a rewarding creative light and gives me hope that the future is in the hands of extraordinary talent” before inviting footwear designers Charlotte Olympia Dellal and Scott Emerson to join her on stage to present the awards.

The 2022 Cordwainers Footwear Award winners are:

1st Prize Sam Lilley, De Montfort University
2nd Prize Dora Aradi, London College of Fashion
Sustainability Award Jasmin Lancaster, London College of Fashion
Commendation Swann Phelippeau, London College of Fashion

Winner Sam Lilley was ecstatic about his win, “Winning the Cordwainers Footwear Awards is incredible. Whilst the prize money is phenomenal, the exposure and association with the Cordwainers is fantastic, as it’s by far the top award!”

The Master of the Company Peter Lamble closed the ceremony, expressing his thanks to
everyone who supported the awards, before the students, guests and Cordwainer members spent a delightful evening networking and making connections for future opportunities.