Back in 1272 when Henry III was still just about on his throne, (he made it to November that year), The Worshipful Guild of Cordwainers was founded. The Guilds were the controllers of trade and apprenticeships in London, and the Cordwainers were related to the bustling leather industry. (You can find out about the City Of London Guilds here). These bodies were an integral part of the training of shoe makers.
The Worshipful Guild Of Cordwainers has moved on in that time, and now holds a lot of importance through its charitable works and supporting the industry. This is how an ancient order comes to hold an important part in the future of the fashion industry. They provide bursaries for aspiring young designers and support for people wanting to enter the industry. Their membership includes industry stars L.K.Bennett & the one and only Jimmy Choo.
They are once again teaming up with De Montford University, Northampton University and The London College Of Fashion to hold the National Footwear Of The Year competition, looking to find the best talents at the three universities and awarding prizes of up to £5000 for the winners.
As I’ve often said in the articles I write, there are two things here, fashions history is long and glorious, we must know where we have come from to know where we are going. The history and heritage available to our next generations will always be an important resource. But secondly we must nurture and develop talent, and prizes and competitions like this will always help people to be all they can be. The very reason this site exists and something I’m very proud of, is to be able to support talented people living their dreams.
The awards will be made at The V & A who will also be showing Shoes : Pleasure Vs Pain supported by the guild 13th June to 31st Jan, on the 18th of June and I will be sure to bring you the details of the winners and their designs.
Photo Credits . . .