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The 2023 Cordwainers Footwear Awards Adds New Categories, Nike Exec Joins Judges Panel

Two fresh categories and a new judge are coming to the 2023 Cordwainers Footwear Awards next month.

Slated to take place on June 7 at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London, this year’s awards ceremony will feature two new categories: the Sneaker/Athleisure Award and the Sue Saunders Award for Excellence.

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According to the event organizers, the new sneaker prize was created to honor the “innovative design work” in this area of footwear. What’s more, the Sue Saunders Award for Excellence — named in honor of the late London College of Fashion professor and mentor — will be given by nomination to an individual who has made an “outstanding contribution” to the footwear industry.

Along with these new prizes, the 2023 Cordwainers Footwear Awards have added Joanne Jorgensen, materials design director of footwear at Nike, to the judging panel. In a short statement, Jorgensen said she feels “very privileged” to have been invited to judge the “incredible work” of so many talented students.

Jorgensen now joins Katie Greenyer of Pentland Brands; Joachim Sedelmeier, head of shoe design at Paul Smith; and designer Charlotte Olympia Dellal on the 2023 judging panel.

“We need to ensure that the footwear industry has really bright talent for the future, and what better way to do it than with these fantastic awards,” Lucy Rees-Raybould, CEO of the British Footwear Association, said in a statement.

“The awards are always a riot of color, innovation and excellence, and I can’t wait to see what our students produce this year,” added John Peal, Master of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers. “We are proud to embrace initiatives that will engage the top designers of tomorrow.”

This year, 15 student finalists from the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London and De Montfort University will compete to win the coveted Cordwainers Footwear Award Trophy.

Monetary prizes this year include 3,000 pounds for first place, 2,000 pounds for second place and 1,500 pounds for both the Sustainable Development Award and Sneaker/Athleisure Award winners.

Established in 2014, the Cordwainers Footwear Awards not only offer footwear design students significant cash prizes and the chance to earn industry recognition for their work, but finalists are also given the opportunity to gain mentoring experience from some of the best names in the British footwear industry.

Last year’s winners included first place winner Sam Lilley from De Montfort University and second-place winner Dora Aradi from London College of Fashion. The sustainability award was received by Jasmin Lancaster from London College of Fashion. A third London College of Fashion student, Swann Phelippeau, won a special commendation award.

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