Footwear etailer VivaLaDiva.com has entered into a partnership with the London College of Fashion to find new talent in footwear design.
From January of next year, the online shoe catalogue, part of home shopping company JD Williams which is owned by N Brown, will be sponsoring the Cordwainers footwear design course at LCF.
"We're constantly looking for new ways to push forward," said Rachel Hopkins, VivaLaDiva's marketing manager. "New brands and designers are going on the website all the time."
Competing with one another for the chance to be stocked on VivaLaDiva, 40 competing students will create a footwear collection for the competition.
VivaLaDiva was launched in autumn 2004 and the website sells more than 150 footwear brands. The winning student's designs will join a line-up including Clarks, Christian Dior, Miss Sixty and Marc Jacobs. According to the company sales have increased by 45% over the six months to August.
“First and foremost, we're looking for something fresh and unique, something of the moment. The collection needs to be commercial - something to rival what is on the high street at the moment, but at the same time production viable. We're looking to retail at about £50, so the students need to take that into consideration when coming up with their designs. Comfort and heel height should also be thought about,” added Hopkins.
Hopkins added: "The winning collection will go on the website for spring 2010. The shoes will be sold not only through VivaLaDiva but also through our associated sites, so there’s an opportunity for really good coverage."