Wednesday, October 18th was the night that the Footwear Industry celebrated a new generation of emerging talent.
Both the leaders of the industry and a host of new talented designers of developing brands celebrated at the LICC, St. Peter’s Church in Central London. The annual event, now firmly implanted in the industry’s calendar, was not only to celebrate the awards but also an opportunity to raise funds for Footwear Friends, the industry charity.
The Footwear Friends Annual Awards are now in their 11th year and in that time have been recognised by the trade as an important way of spotting and rewarding British talent in the Footwear Industry.
Bimble Wins The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers Award for Innovation
Bimble was awarded a £5,000 bursary aimed at developing a Young Designer’s business. The award is generously sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers and includes a 12-months mentoring programme by industry experts. The Master Cordwainer, Patrick Peal, presented this year’s award.
Bethany Jarroussié of Bimble says:
“We are truly honoured to be recognised in this years’ Footwear Friends awards. To be judged by a panel of industry heavyweights and awarded first prize is a dream come true.
We know that we are offering a unique alternative to mainstream shoes for first walkers, and we are encouraged that our vision for the Bimble brand was shared by the judges.
We are very grateful to Footwear Friends and the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers for this opportunity and we are excited for the future of our brand.”
This year has seen an increase in applicants, and the judges were impressed by the great response by candidates for the competition who all put a great deal of work into their business plans and presentations.
The event was sponsored by Clarks International, Colvanbridge Ltd., Dune, Pavers Ltd, Pentland Brands, Schuh Ltd., Start-rite Shoes Ltd., The University of Northampton and the William Lamb Group.
For further information on Footwear Friends: www.footwearfriends.org.uk
Notes to editors
Bimble is a handmade kids footwear brand based in Bath, Somerset. The collection focuses on classic design, supersoft baby moccasins that allow little feet to develop in the way nature intended.
Bimble’s founders, sisters Bethany and Osyth grew up with shoe-maker parents, who have been making bespoke leather shoes by hand in their small workshop in Somerset, England for decades. When they recently became mothers themselves the sisters wanted to create a good quality shoe suitable for their babies’ first steps that wouldn’t restrict their movement or growth. Based on their parents’ design they made their own. The family business now produces the handmade shoes in their UK workshop maintaining traditional leatherworking techniques and using the finest materials to produce superior quality, durable and comfortable ‘foot shaped’ shoes for little feet.
The classic moccasin design is beautiful and simple, offering room for the foot to wiggle and grow whilst effectively staying on the foot and being so comfortable mums have said kids don’t want to take them off at bedtime! Made from only 2 pieces of leather the shoe forms a gentle but protective second-skin that easily flexes and moves with the foot.
According to the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists it is beneficial in the early stages of walking to restrict feet as little as possible (the closer to barefoot the better) to allow proper growth of undeveloped bones in the feet.
Based on an old Native American design the shoes have been fine-tuned to prove the best balance of protection and flexibility allowing children the wiggle room they need to develop strong, healthy feet. Unlike many soft leather baby moccasin styles, Bimble shoes have deep toe boxes allowing room to feet to flex and grow, making the shoes the next best thing to walking barefoot.
About the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers
Cordwainers are shoemakers, originally highly skilled craftsmen who used the finest goatskin leather from Cordoba in Spain. The Company’s roots date back to 1272, and the first Charter in 1439 licensed Cordwainers to control the shoe trade within the City of London. Today, the Cordwainers have a strong charitable ethos and their primary focus is to nurture young talent in the fashion and shoemaking industries.