New Look Masters Collection: Footwear Design

Recognising the powerful and innovative design work that takes place on LCF’s MA Fashion Footwear course (which boasts Jimmy Choo as an alumnus), New Look offered the students an amazing opportunity, to have their designs put into production and go on sale in their stores.

For students who would never normally expect to see their university work go into production, past handmade prototypes, the project was as exciting as it was unique. The result was London College of Fashion Masters Collection for New Look – a capsule collection of footwear.

Set up by LCF Careers as a competition, students were briefed by New Look to design a range of shoes. One or more of the styles would be selected as part of the exclusive six style SS11 collection. Of the competing students, four were chosen by a panel of judges that included Giles Deacon and Jonathan Kelsey. The shoes that made it into production were indistinguishable from the original designs and each pair was manufactured in both the designers’ chosen colourway and a black version. The final collection of shoes went on sale in Spring 2011 and was sold in 25 stores nationwide. The collection was extremely well received and many designs sold out within a week of being on sale.

The collaboration between the artisan, at times avant-garde, MA students and one of Britain’s biggest fashion retailers shows how the high street can retain and nurture design purity and creativity, whilst creating a viable product. New Look have now built a relationship with LCF, as they wish to engage with education and connect with the next generation of designers, and this first collaboration has proved extremely successful.

Overall winner Chang Seok Ko said:

I feel totally overwhelmed to have won the New Look competition, I really didn’t expect to win – so it’s only just beginning to sink in that my shoes will actually be on sale. I never thought I would be in a position of having my designs made up and sold before I have even graduated from London College of Fashion. I’m really looking forward to the launch and seeing the shoes go into the New Look stores."