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Graduate Spotlight: MA Footwear student Jinhua Gao


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Published date
23 February 2017

Jinhua Gao studied MA Footwear at LCF and his final collection is inspired by children’s toys. He spoke to us about his time at LCF, why he decided to study footwear and what his plans for the future are.

My final collection… is called Shoe-Object-As-Toys. It’s a collection for children aged four to five years old. I wanted to ask the question of how to connect children’s toys to footwear, to create a new playful context. I hope to find a connection between footwear and children’s toys and create interactive, playful and educational toys based on footwear, to inspire children’s cognitive, physical and social skills.

Before LCF… I studied at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, which is a very famous fashion and design school in China.

My top tips for new students…


I chose LCF… because it has always been my dream school, with one of the best footwear courses in the world. I wanted to study here to learn the everything about footwear design and technology. Being here proved that I was right, and I feel so lucky to have completed my MA at LCF.

The best thing about the course is… you can do anything – nobody can limit you, but you have to make it happen within footwear. I think that this is also the most challenging aspect as well. It means you have to develop new things in concept and technique.  It’s not easy, because you have to do a lot of research – you might make some mistakes in your project, but never give it up because that is one of the most valuable parts of your MA experience.

My favourite thing about London… is going to different museums and exhibitions, which really excites me. In my opinion, you need to keep your thinking up to date all the time, in order to inspire more new ideas.

My work in a few words... innovative, creative, functional, amusing, natural.

My biggest inspiration… I think in the first stage is ‘function’, but after that it’s children.

In the future… I want to launch my own brand. This course helped me realise how important thinking independently is, when I make any work decisions. I appreciate my tutor Eelko Moorer who not only guided my project, but also let me develop my own research methodologies to be more independent.

LCF is moving to Stratford… east London is my favourite – it will be a great cultural and educational district. I think it will be good for cooperation and communication between different courses, which will inspire more creative ideas. I believe that the move will cultivate more talent in the future.

Alumni can connect with LCF in the following ways: