Married Taiwanese students Toby Chih-Hao Lo and Chelsea Yu-Chi Liu who came to the UK to study De Montfort UniversityвЂ™s unique Footwear Design degree have both been selected to showcase their work at the UKвЂ™s biggest fashion industry event.
DMU in Leicester teamed up with MODA Footwear this year for вЂHistory in the MakingвЂ™, a bespoke project which challenged final year footwear design students to create shoes that bring the rich heritage of the footwear industry into the 21st century.
Toby Chih-Hao Lo and Chelsea Yu-Chi Liu are among six students who were then selected by a panel of industry experts for their innovative designs to be displayed at the MODA Footwear show on 21 вЂ“ 23 February at the NEC in Birmingham. Their designs will also feature in leading trade magazine Fashion Extras.
Chelsea and Toby, both 30, had studied and worked in Australia for six years before coming to the UK but both grew up in Taiwan; Chelsea is from Taipei and Toby is from Taichung where his family have a shoe company called Dragon Year Ltd.
Chelsea said: вЂњWe are really delighted to both be selected to show our work at MODA.
вЂњMy theme is вЂњVictorian eraвЂќ and IвЂ™ve used not only the old styles but also the new styles influenced by Victorian fashions. I love the ruffles and bustle skirts so I used a lot of them when I designed the shoes and my final design is based on Queen VictoriaвЂ™s bustle skirts.
вЂњI use white leather, textile and elastic webbing on the vamp and very nice red vegetable tan leather for the large decorative plume on the heel. The inspiration of the heel is from ornate wooden designs of Victorian architecture and furniture.вЂќ
TobyвЂ™s design is entitled вЂњLobster ChairвЂќ and he said: вЂњI have used the classic curved shape and shell-like features of the design-classic chair to inspire this innovative shoe. The upper design includes wire inserted so the wearer can bend it to different shapes to suit their own tastes and outfits.вЂќ
Kevin Guildford, Head of Footwear at DMU, said: вЂњThis project has given students the chance to show their designs in front of huge industry audience which will open up fantastic opportunities for them.вЂќ
DMU offers the only single honours footwear design course in the UK and has launched many successful designersвЂ™ careers. Graduates have secured positions at many leading companies, including Kurt Geiger, Office, French Connection, Adidas and Puma.