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Footwear’s finest

Last Thursday saw the Drapers Footwear and Accessories awards take place at London’s Grosvenor House hotel and what an event it was.

This was the first year the awards were expanded to include accessories categories and the event saw almost 500 of the footwear and accessory industry’s finest come together to celebrate their achievements in what has arguably been a tough year across the entire fashion sector.

By and large the footwear and accessories sector has weathered the downturn better than the rest of the fashion industry with many customers opting to update their outfits by investing in new footwear and/or accessories.

However, there is no denying that even for those at the top of their game, it is still tough out there with everyone chasing what precious little cash consumers are prepared to part with.

Add to this everyone’s favourite excuse, the British weather, and things are far from easy. I, for one, have not even considered wearing open-toed shoes yet so it is hardly surprising that no one is buying them.

Although if you looked around the room on Thursday night, the words “rain”, “reduced consumer spending” and “double-dip recession” couldn’t have been further from people’s minds.

If the atmosphere in the room on Thursday night proves anything it is that award ceremonies like these are essential, not only to boost morale and celebrate success but also to network with colleagues and peers in the industry.

It was the first year that I, in my privileged position of Drapers’ resident footwear and accessories correspondent, had been involved in the awards from start to finish and the whole experience was, without exception, absolutely fantastic.

From reading all of the submitted entries through to overseeing the judging process and then sharing in the successes of all the winners on the night, I can’t help but be struck by the dedication and passion of all those who work in this sector.

Congratulations to all of our winners and shortlisted entrants – we had double the amount of entries this year compared to last – so the competition really was tough and all of you should be extremely proud of what you achieved.

These are your awards and we are always keen to learn how we can build on them and improve them for next year. We would really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to fill in our short survey which can be found at or alternatively, drop me an email at . I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Ruth Faulkner, reporter, Drapers

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