Two international footwear designers from the University of Northampton are in the running for a prestigious national award. Footwear & Accessories undergraduates Faizal Mohammed and Anna Melegh have made the shortlist for the Cordwainer Footwear Student of the Year title.
The awards were set up in 2014 by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers to celebrate the best upcoming shoe designers in the UK.
Faizal, has been shortlisted for his futuristic sneakers concept.
The second year undergraduate from Chennai, India, has printed a fingerprint design on the footwear, plus wires on the soles.
He said: “My idea is about the footwear of the future. I’ve imagined a world where people will be able to use their fingerprints to ‘unlock’ their shoes via an app, which will then unlace them automatically. The wires in the soles are for future technologies which could inflate and adjust the inside of the sneakers to make them the perfect, personalised pair.
“I was influenced by the futuristic use of technology and how tracking can suppress society. I watched the Black Mirror TV series which had quite a similar concept of what the future could be.”
Faizal added: “I am so excited about my nomination. I am so grateful to my tutors for helping me to develop my skills. This is small opportunity that could lead to major career opportunities in the future.”
Fellow second year student, Anna, has produced a pair of Budapester-style brogues inspired by her home city of Budapest.
They feature her hand-drawn collage of windows from historic buildings in the Hungarian capital dating from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Anna made the leather herself, which she then spray painted and engraved with her own hand-drawn motifs.
Anna said: “It feels good to have been nominated. It’s such a great opportunity for me and great recognition for my work.”
The Cordwainer Footwear Student of the Year awards take place in London on Thursday 6 June.