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Cordwainers student to design shoe collection for SAKS Fifth Avenue

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Published date
27 June 2014

SAKS Fifth Avenue of New York has selected Kay Whitehouse, BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation, to sell her footwear collections in their world famous Fifth Avenue store.

SAKS Fifth Avenue set LCF students the challenge to design a collection which met the demands of their fashionable customer and captured each designer’s signature style. Five finalists, all of whom are in their second year at LCF, were selected from BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation: Ploypayap Srikarnchana, Jessica Miller, Laura Thomas, Ilona Iljina and of course the winner – Kay Whitehouse.

The SAKS judges told LCF News what they thought of the finalist’s designs:

“It’s inspiring to see their work and to see the creative process. You can really see into each designers’ mind. Once again we can see that LCF is where the crop of new talent passes through. We’re really keen to support new designers and build relationships with them – especially those coming out of LCF’s Cordwainers.”

Kay’s winning design featured pastel colours and smocked strapping around the legs. She drew her inspiration from her childhood home, bringing together delicate domestic details and textures to create a feminine collection with something distinctly British about it.

The cordwainers finalists told us how they felt to have their work selected by SAKS Fifth Avenue:

Jessica Miller: “It was so exciting. The fact that SAKS has selected our designs – it’s just such an iconic store. It’s great that LCF has these industry contacts so we can learn how to create things that appeal to the customer and the market.”

The students also gave their advice for footwear designers thinking about starting the BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design & Innovation course:

Laura Thomas: “Figure out how you like to do things, how you draw and what your style is. Oh, and stock up on masking tape!”

Finally the SAKS Fifth Avenue judges gave some invaluable advice to budding footwear designers:

“The future is open and there’s a real appetite for new footwear designers and their collections. Be determined, be passionate and do everything you can to find funding. It can be difficult to move from emerging to established but you can do it! It’s a hungry market and there’s space for new talent.”