Juhye Moon, winner of HEELS and BEYOND with Sophia Webster
In August 2021, LCF BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation student Juhye Moon was crowned winner of HEELS and BEYOND, a Product Design & Innovation Industry Project project with shoe designer and LCF alumna Sophia Webster. The project revolved around development of Sophia’s brand themes, giving students a choice to craft either a collection of “Mum and Mini” children's shoes, or a 6 piece shoe and bag collection, titled “A Bag To Match”.
Juhye provided LCF Stories with an insight into her design journey. She also speaks of religious influences and the benefit of compromise, along with her joy at winning the best project.
‘The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God endures forever.’ - Isaiah 40: 2.
"This bible verse has constantly driven me as an inquisitive mind on my life journey. The curiosity behind the question "what is the purpose of our lives" has led to the realization that this purpose is, metaphorically, not to be the splendour of flowers but more. The flower petals fade in an instant, but the bearing fruit has a positive influence on people, and I realized that butterflies play a significant environmental role as a connector to bear and distribute this fruit. The butterflies' connective behaviour was then narrowed down to produce and realize the concept of the 'mediator'. This metaphor of butterflies and flowers provided me with a meaningful and eloquent life lesson."
"One phrase to describe this project would be: ‘If, at first, you don't succeed, try and try again’. I originally received feedback in two separate meetings from the Sophia Webster team that the design did not match their iconic style and identity. Sophia Webster and I have distinctive and different styles respectively: modern heels with iconic butterfly wings versus the traditional goodyear welt style. It took time to cast away my own vintage style and to accept the brand needs and preferences. This feedback led me to reflect deeply and to think of ways to combine modern design with the traditional goodyear welt technique."
"I was lost in Rivington Street one day and by chance I found a silk shop that was selling silk that I was desperately looking for. This silk had two luminous tones depending on the angle of the light, which I considered to be incredibly like the morpho butterfly structure. This material became the point of connection and meaning between their style and my own that had seemed so distinct initially. After this, the Sophia Webster team loved the final outcome, which combined the goodyear welt to butterfly wings with diligent silk."
"Overall, this project shows gratitude and glory to God in the highest, and I wholeheartedly appreciate Sophia and her team. I would also like to thank Mr. Kim from Leather 247, who taught me the goodyear welt technique."
About Sophia Webster
After founding her eponymous label in 2012, Sophia debuted her first collection for Spring/Summer 2013, becoming internationally renowned for her unique, creative and uplifting designs. She was awarded the Conde Nast Footwear Emerging Designer of the Year 2012, and the British Fashion Award for Emerging Accessories Designer 2013. In 2016, Sophia became the first female shoe designer to receive the Vogue Fashion Fund.
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