The Filipino Footwear Design Competition 2020 has announced its winner.
The annual national competition is organized by the Department of Trade and Industry and Philippine Footwear Federation Inc. (PFFI) to encourage local talents to pursue footwear design, and to serve as preliminary contest for the International Footwear Design Competition, a prestigious event that highlights footwear design concept and development on a global scale.
The official call for participants held in March 2020 garnered more than 70 unique entries from talented local artists.
The design boards submitted are in line with the six categories presented for the competition: Men’s Shoes, Lady’s Trendy, Lady’s Leisure, Lady’s Boot, Children Shoes, and Sports Shoes. The contest finally launched last December 2020 and pushed through with the theme: Creative Virality; carrying the objective of reaching a wider audience to celebrate the uniqueness and resourcefulness of Filipino talent.
The finalists went through a series of training workshops in December 2020, hosted by Zapateria via Zoom, on Footwear Making 101, Sketching, Designing (Inspiration and Brand Development), and Costing & Projection 101 from industry practitioners. This has set the tone for the quality of prototype development, made possible under the guidance of their respective mentors and partner makers.
This year’s roster of mentors include Rico Sta. Ana, Sheila de Jesus, Mara Pinon, Gerome Sta. Maria, Nicco Pintac, Maco Custodio, and Thian Rodriguez. Marikina-based shoe manufacturers such as Fashion Purveyor (Roweliza Shoes and Bags), Black Wing Shoes, Zapateria, Javier Footwear, Tawong Lipod Creative Studio, and independent maker Dante Pascual took on the challenge of bringing the finalists’ unique designs to life.
The Sierra shoes, designed by Carla Apostol, bagged the grand winner award. Its overall visual is inspired by nature and celebrates the craftsmanship that pushes the boundaries of the capability of local artisans. This lady’s boots highlight refined attention to detail and well-researched juxtaposition of finishing and locally-sourced materials.
Another heel-less entry, first runner up Sister’s Favorite by Joel Wijangco, made use of unconventional materials such as resin, food models, and actual miso bowl and chopsticks to bring a fun, food-themed design to the competition.
Second runner-up Janreyk Paler’s Osang – Queen of the Road utilized the latest technology in footwear manufacturing at the DTI-NCRO’s Shared Services Facility (SSF) in Marikina City with a design that needed a custom shoe last for his heel-less lady’s trendy design. The final prototype was made of metal sheets and other jeepney components such as nuts and bolts, chains, and leather.
Other design entries include a Kundiman-inspired piece by National Artist Levi Celerio called “Awit ng Mananahi” by Michael Joseph Bawar; a colorful rendition of the iconic ‘King of the Road’ with rotating wheels, “Dyip Heels” by IDr. Mark Boni Marter; men’s shoes showcasing the Filipino art, talent, and culture, “Hibla Habi” by Ivan Fabia; and, a beautifully, subtle pair of heels inspired by different bodies of water, “Kalinaw” by Therese Paman.
Veteran designer and former International Footwear Design Competition (IFDC) 2019 juror Maco Custodio joined this year’s showcase with “C/Shoes by Macolit”, a unisex children’s shoe design made out of readily-available materials such as discarded fabric, flexible wrapper foil, leather scrap, and more. Its design ethos revolves around connecting, creating, conscious consumerism, co-crafting or co-doing, and caring.
All finalists will be competing in the next iteration of the IFDC in Guangzhou, China.
Text and photos by FFDC with edits by the Art+ Staff.