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Shoes on a carpet

BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear student, Clara Nordenhok, wins first prize at the National Footwear Student of the Year Awards

Written by J Tilley
Published date 22 June 2020

"Stay creative, work hard, embrace the knowledge given to you and never give up."

BA (Hons) Cordwainers: Footwear student, Clara Nordenhok, has won first place at the National Footwear Student of the Year Awards 2020.The main difference in the competition this year, is the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has forced applicants to submit their portolios digitally. We caught up with Clara to find out about the experience of winning this award in the most testing of times.

Congratulations on the award! Tell us, how did this come about? Did you apply?

Every year final year students from the Cordwainers course can apply for the Worshipful Cordwainers competition. Five students from London College of Fashion is selected as finalists that later will go on in the competition and will be competing against North Hampton University and De Montford University.

Can you tell us about the process? What were you required to do?

Though the work you have to send in is very dense it’s still a shorter version of your final year project that you hand in at the end of the course. You are required to send in portfolio, sketchbook, and images of your experimentation and prototypes of your work.

Aside from winning amazing awards, what have you been up to during your final year? How has it been working throughout these particularly testing times?

I have put all my energy this year to my school work. I really wanted to embrace being at university and in the workshops and absorb as much knowledge as possible from my teachers and my peers. It has definitely been a testing time these last couple of months – having to change and adjust and though I do feel a bit mentally exhausted it has also been rewarding. I have learned so much about myself and pushing my abilities to adapt, maintain routines, being disciplined and just continue working. The world goes on and so does your work.

What are you hoping to do after graduation?

I’m currently in the process of applying for jobs. Though this is not an easy time to find work due to Covid-19, I am hoping to find a workplace where I can continue to grow, develop and learn more about the fashion and footwear industry.

How do you feel your time at LCF has helped prepare you for industry?

I have learned so much during my 4 years at LCF. From the basics of making shoes and different techniques to a new approach towards fashion and creativity. I have loved the process of designing and how politics, culture and different variations of inspiration can be used to create beautiful and innovative designs. As a student you also have the opportunity to go out on placement year and collaborate with companies which not only is a great learning experience but it also helps you in making connections with people in the industry.

Any words of advice for those looking to follow a similar path to you?

I would probably say; stay creative, work hard, embrace the knowledge given to you and never give up. I have grown so much as a person and in my work and LCF has really prepared me for the industry and I am excited to go out into the world.