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Moda puts spotlight on footwear design with competition in collaboration with De Montfort University

Tom Bottomley
16 December 2022

Long-standing UK fashion trade show Moda is shining the light on innovative new footwear design talent, with a competition in collaboration with De Montfort University in Leicester and its final year BA (Hons) Footwear Design Students.

The next Moda is taking place on 5-8 February 2023 at the NEC Birmingham, alongside Spring Fair, and the new initiative saw 16 students invited to display their designs at the show. Nine finalists were then selected, with the winner to be announced at an awards ceremony on Sunday 5 February.

Visitors to the show will also be given the opportunity to vote for their favourite design, and the design with the most votes will receive the Buyer’s Choice Award.

Alejandra Campos, Event Director at Moda, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with De Montfort University supporting the local talent and the future designers to the footwear industry.

“The standards were very high and the innovation and creativity from the students is inspiring. I can’t wait to see their work on display at Moda and give these unbelievably talented designers the opportunity to show their work to a global audience.”


Alfie Payne

The students’ competition brief was based on the Quagga, an ill proportioned cross between a horse and a zebra that was native to South Africa and hunted to extinction in the 1880’s.

The Quagga was one of nature’s hybrids that adapted its size, camouflage and natural survival capability with its surroundings, so students were tasked to create footwear that also evolves through certain conditions and the framework was “designed to disrupt the classic creative process”.

Nanette Westberg-Brown, Senior Lecturer for Footwear Design & Programme Leader for BA Footwear Design, commented: “The Quagga project is a unique concept that allows students to really push their design boundaries and explore niche footwear theories and innovations. The results are equally as unique as the brief!

“The work that the students have produced is a testament to their commitment of footwear studies; having started the programme during the pandemic and resulting lockdowns, they have overcome the challenges of facing reduced access to our facilities and practical prototyping, to excel in their creativity and design ideations.”

Jong Won Kim

The nine student finalists are: Baldeep Nangla (Bobby), Woosung Kim, Gyoungryoung Kwak (Lynn), Cameron Murdoch (whose design is shown in main image), Jong Won Kim, Madison Harwood-Scott, Jemma Swales, Jihwi Ahn, and Alfie Payne.

Brands signed to show at February’s Moda include Fly London, XTi, Refresh, Carmela, Chatham, Mustang, Alpe, Thomas Blunt, Lunar, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Anne Michelle, Top Staka and Lazy Dogz.

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