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BFA students compete to become the Next Shoe Star

Apr '08
The Fashion Institute of Technology has partnered with Footwear News and Nine West to discover the next design star in the footwear industry.

Seven graduating Accessories Design BFA students have been competing since January in "Shoe Star," a competition consisting of a series of six elimination challenges over a six-month period documented online at NineWest/ShoeStar and regularly in Footwear News.

"Our industry has a great need for young talent who can bring fresh perspectives and innovative designs to the business," says Michael Atmore, editorial director of Footwear News, who along with Fred Allard, creative director of Nine West, and Ellen Goldstein, professor and chairperson of FIT's Accessories Design program serve as judges.

Each challenge also features a rotating cast of celebrity judges, including Stuart Weitzman, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, and Patricia Field.

Challenges range from a "Red Carpet Challenge" where each contestant designs a shoe for a pre-determined celebrity suitable for wearing to a red carpet event to "The Green Challenge" in which contestants designed an eco-friendly sandal using nothing but sustainable materials.

The last remaining designer and winner will be announced during the New York Footwear Fashion Association of New York (FFANY) show on June 3 - 5 and earn a year-long, full-time junior designer position at Nine West where they will work with the Nine West accessories team on the spring '09 footwear, handbag, and accessories collection.

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