Students of the BA Cordwainers Footwear Design recently participated in a design contest set by the internationally renowned footwear brand FitFlop. The students had to propose innovative designs aligned with FitFlop's mission - creating a shoe thought for an active lifestyle using the brand's characteristic comfort technology. An expert judging panel selected 5 finalists from the 34 entries and their shoes were put to a public vote.
After much anticipation, the South-Korean student Suseong Woo was announced as the winner with her Marble sneaker design. We caught up with her to find out more about her winning design and how this experience might contribute to her future career as a footwear designer.\iou
Hi Suseong. Congratulations for winning the FitFlop design contest! How did you react when you found out?
I completely went blank and speechless! I did not know what to say when they announced my name as first winner - I am so thankful and happy I received first place. It is a great honour for me to receive this award and there were a lot of people who supported me. I truly wanted to share this moment with all my friends, family and footwear course classmates. I worked really hard for this and I am so happy and proud of myself.
Tell us about your design. Did you have a clear idea of the type of shoe you wanted to design from the beginning?
I was unsure of which design I wanted as my final design, since I made so many in the beginning. I was confused with the direction I was going towards with my final design but I ended up submitting the Marble sneaker which was actually the first one I created.
Where did you take the inspiration for this design?
The collection Marble was inspired by mountain landscape. I looked into the natural environment, where the lines of geological elements advance with a raft of awe-inspiring colours and textural materials. I tried to explore links of contoured forms between straight and curved lines to create different silhouettes.
What was the most challenging part of the contest for you?
It was a 5-week project, so I was quite worried about how I could manage my time for the project. Besides, I had never designed sneakers so I created as many designs as possible since I wasn’t too sure of which sneaker I would like most.
You’ll travel to Asia with the FitFlop design team and then you’ll get spend one week at the HQ in London. What are you most excited about?
I have never been in a shoe factory before, so I am very excited to witness the factory workers making my design. I am also excited to see the process and really understand the steps the factory goes through in order to make sneakers. The more I learn, the better for me.
Let’s talk a bit about your time at LCF. Did you always know you wanted to become a shoe designer?
I did not always want to be a shoe designer —- originally I wanted to be a jewellery designer, but after studying for two years I realised shoe design was my true passion.
Why did you decide to study at LCF? What attracted you about this university?
In South Korea there wasn't any course specifically in footwear design, so I spent a lot of time searching for a school and I was lucky to have found LCF. One of my friends who studied here told me about this school and how renowned it is, which made me want to apply to this university. Since it was already very difficult to find a footwear design course, I was very grateful to be accepted here.
What are your plans for the next few years? Where would you like to see yourself professionally?
My plan for the next few years is to work in the footwear industry as much possible in order to learn as much as I can. My goal is that within those years of experience, I will get a better idea of where I want to be professionally.
Suseong's shoe will be available to buy exclusively on FitFlop.com in August.