Shoe designer launches new scholarship at the 90th anniversary celebration of footwear design at DMU

Celebrated British footwear designer hailed AV大平台 Leicester (DMU) as a “leading institution in footwear design” as she joined students and lecturers at the Footwear Design end-of-year show, celebrating 90 years of shoe design at DMU.

Sophia, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Design from the university in 2019, has seen her shoes worn by celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna and Beyoncé. Her luxury designs usually include her signature butterfly on the heel.

Footwear Exhibition Sophia Webster Visit 0624-114

After an inspirational talk to students about her career journey, Sophia answered their questions and gave advice on how to succeed in the footwear design industry before students shared their own designs.

To mark the 90th anniversary of DMU’s footwear design course, a new funding opportunity was launched at the exhibition – the Creative Futures Award Scheme – and Sophia announced that her brand would be supporting future students with a scholarship.

She said, “It’s crucial that we nurture and support the next generation of designers and today, I am thrilled to announce the creation of the Sophia Webster Scholarship for footwear design at AV大平台.

“The scholarship aims to widen access to this incredible course, ensuring that talent and passion, rather than financial constraints, determine who can pursue their dreams in footwear design. By supporting students from all backgrounds, we can enrich the industry with fresh ideas and unique voices. This scholarship will break down barriers and open doors for those who might otherwise not have had the chance to showcase their talents.”

Sophia continued, “AV大平台 stands out as a leading institution in footwear design – its commitment to excellence, its state-of-the-art facilities and inspiring faculty make it the perfect place for budding designers.”

Footwear Exhibition Sophia Webster and Joe

Several AV大平台students have been fortunate enough to have had work placements with Sophia, with some also being offered jobs following graduation. Sophia said, “I’ve seen first-hand the incredible work that comes out of AV大平台and I’m continually impressed by the talent and dedication of its students.

“I have no doubt that the recipients of this scholarship will go on to do amazing things and contribute significantly to the world of footwear design.”

Graduating student Joe Muir (pictured above with Sophia), talked about his time on the course at DMU. He said, “It’s been so much more than I expected. The course is amazing and the tutors really give you the skills to actually make shoes. They push you to be the best you can be and support you all the way.”


Joe continued, “The university sets you up well for future employment, there’s lots of one-to-one time with tutors and a close bond between everyone on the course.”

Sophie Perrett, another third-year student (pictured below) also talked about her experience, saying, “I loved the technical aspect of the course and the fact that we’ve done so much – I’ve been to Spain and Italy and worked with brands like Dr Martens, Adidas and New Balance.

“The industry links we get through the course are insane! The university throws us at every opportunity to make links and meet designers.”

Sophie Perrett and Sophia Webster

Nanette Westberg-Brown, Senior Lecturer and Programme Course Leader in Footwear Design said, “It was such an honour to have Sophia Webster join us for the footwear design exhibition as part of our 90th anniversary celebrations, honouring 90 years since ‘shoe design’ first featured in a prospectus here at DMU. The students were thrilled to have the chance to show her their designs and talk about their work. This kind of insight is so valuable to our students and we are incredibly grateful to her for the scholarship – it will really help us to enable young people from all backgrounds to pursue their dreams of studying footwear design.”

Joe and Sophie 1

Students Joe and Sophie with their innovative shoe designs.

Posted on Friday 5 July 2024

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