Maya shines in shoe design contest
A footwear design student has been named the winner of a coveted industry award.
Maya Nishimura, who is in her final year on the course at De Montfort University, was one of six short-listed students who exhibited their designs as part of the History In The Making project – a collaboration between the university and Moda Footwear.
The scheme gives final year footwear design students the opportunity to design and develop a shoe inspired by a period in history, while combining modern trends.
The winner was announced at the end of Moda, the UK's largest footwear exhibition which attracts some of the biggest brands in the industry.
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Maya, 23, who is from Japan, took inspiration from her country's history and culture to create her design.
Her design focused on Japanese architecture during the Asuka era (592 to 645 AD) – a period which marked the emergence of Buddhism and a heavy Chinese influence.
"It was a huge surprise when I was announced as the winner, it still feels unreal," she said. "Inspiration for my design came from home and it was great I was able to use traditional Japanese craftsmanship – something that I have always respected and want to continue to use throughout my career.
"I feel very honoured and I'm sure this great achievement will really help my future career in the footwear industry."
Sean O'Connor, of Moda Footwear and one of the judges, said Maya's design required "a high degree of technical prowess, and turned its historical influences into a design perfectly in tune with current trends".