Charlotte Olympia Launches Scholarship Scheme as part of the BFC Education Foundation

01 September 2015
Back to news list
Charlotte Olympia Launches Scholarship Scheme as part of the BFC Education Foundation

Luxury shoes and accessories brand, Charlotte Olympia, is delighted to announce the creation of a new scholarship scheme at Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion, UAL.

This is the first dedicated footwear scholarship initiative to be offered by a luxury brand and the first full BA scholarship to launch as part of the BFC Education Foundation, an education pillar aimed at attracting talented young people into the industry through scholarships and vocational routes.

Charlotte Olympia Dellal, founder and creative director of her namesake brand, studied at Cordwainers, where she completed the BA footwear design course. Charlotte is passionate about supporting the development and growth of talent in shoe design and championing the footwear industry.

Cordwainers at London College of Fashion is a global leader in footwear and accessories education, which, throughout its 125-year history, has supported, shaped and influenced the industry. Today the value of the UK footwear market stands at £6bn with handbags directly contributing a further £1bn. As the leading footwear and accessories design establishment, both the students and alumni of Cordwainers play a valuable role in the British economy, where innovation and creativity have become so important.

Starting from the 2015/16 academic year, Charlotte Olympia will provide the necessary funds to enable one talented student to complete the final three years of the four year BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation Course, which includes a paid internship at Charlotte Olympia. The scholarship will be available from the 2nd year onwards and will be a rolling scheme available for all first year students to apply. The first winning student will start their 2nd year in September 2015.

The selection process will involve the strongest first year students, handpicked by the course director, who will present their portfolios to an elite panel of leading fashion industry judges. The 2015 judges are Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Contributing Editor at American Vogue, Business of Fashion founder Imran Amed and Helen David, Fashion Director of Womenswear, Women’s Shoes, Fine Jewellery, accessories and Childrenswear at Harrods.

The BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation Course focuses on producing graduates who are encouraged to make an innovative and visionary contribution to footwear product development within the fashion industry. Students are taught how to research ideas, produce initial designs, and develop these designs through to a finished 3D prototype. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the fashion footwear industry, its markets, and the particular role of the fashion footwear product designer and developer within the industry.

The paid internship in industry will take place at Charlotte Olympia during the second year of the scholarship, providing the unique opportunity to be part of the design team headed up by Charlotte Olympia Dellal.

Charlotte Olympia Dellal commented, “I am very happy to be giving something back to a school which provided me with the skills and confidence to create by own luxury brand and build a career in an industry I love.”

Highlighting the need for this new scholarship, Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Contributing Editor at American Vogue, commented: “ I would like to express my admiration for Charlotte for coming forward to support a scholarship at Cordwainers. Charlotte sets an example as a businesswoman and entrepreneur with her glamorous and witty signature accessories. In establishing this award, she is also a standard-bearer for philanthropy in education, at a time when students' financial struggle to meet the rising costs of fees and living has never been so acute. In joining with objectives of the British Fashion Council Education Foundation, Charlotte's generosity and mentorship will ensure a bright future for the next talents in accessories - a sector which holds the promise of excellent career prospects."