Menu Close


A Leicester fashion student has won two national awards for his forward thinking footwear and accessory designs.

The 2022 Fashanne Awards, saw Sam Lilley from De Montfort University declared not only the winner of the Footwear & Accessory Design Award, but also of the Daniel Hanson Award for Excellence, beating all other 60 finalists across eight different categories.

Picture: Fashanne

Held on May 5 at St Mary’s Church in Nottingham, the Fashanne awards celebrate the inspiring work of Britain’s new generation of young designers.

The event played host to the great and the good from across the fashion and business worlds. Joined by Patrick Grant of BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee, journalist and TV presenter and founder of Fashanne, Anne Davies, took to the stage to welcome celebrity models amputee Sian Lord, double gold Paralympian Richard Whitehead MBE and drag artist Cheddar Gorgeous, who strutted the catwalk to the delight of the 350 strong audience.

Amongst the guests, Sir John Peace, Lord Lieutenant of Nottingham and ex-chairman of Burberry, and Her Grace, The Duchess of Rutland were seen to be enjoying the show and praised the talent they had seen in the clothes created by the young designers.

Besides being awarded first place, Sam will now be offered an internship and mentoring from his category sponsor, Pentland, which is responsible for popular sports and lifestyle brands, including Speedo, Berghaus, and Ellesse.

“I’m so happy with these awards. After the challenges of studying through the pandemic, it’s nice to have my hard work recognised and feel like it’s paying off,” said the 22-year-old who comes from Sheffield.

Sam’s award-winning unisex footwear was a result of combining three concepts – morphing, orienteering and luxury – to create a hybrid design.

He said: “We were set the brief as part of our studies and we had to pick three from a long list of obscure subjects. It was a really hard project at first, but great for getting us to think outside the box and create something no one has seen before.

“I took inspiration from orienteering footwear and the luxury market, while exploring the metamorphosis and evolution of the peppered moth, which changed in colour as a result of air pollution during the Industrial Revolution.”

Simple and luxurious, Sam’s design features leather uppers, proportions inspired by trail shoes, a removable sock to make it trans-seasonal, silver speed-lacing toggles and heavy lugs on the sole.

Picture: Fashanne

Anne Davies is the founder of Fashanne.

“Fashanne, Fashion Designers of the Future Awards exists not only to promote and showcase the huge talent in our universities but to connect this next generation of designers within the industry, bridging the gap between education and employment”, she said.

“Making those connections early on can be incredibly powerful and we are delighted to be a part of such a positive step forward in young designers fledgling careers.”

“These prestigious awards celebrated the inspiring work of Britain’s new generation of young designers. The talented university finalists demonstrated huge skill and imagination, taking inspiration from new sources and unashamedly tackling themes & concepts such as mental health, sexuality, sustainability, inclusion and omnicide”.

Over the last six years, Fashanne has brought together some of Britain’s most iconic and famous fashion and retail brands including Paul Smith, John Smedley, Pentland and Next. The winners now have the opportunity of internships and mentoring from their category sponsor, helping to build long-term sustainable connections in a fiercely competitive industry. Previous winners have gone on to work with the likes of Hugo Boss, Boden, All Saints and Ted Baker among many others.

On top of Sam’s success, there were several other De Montfort students that came a close second within their categories, namely Yinglin Xu – Footwear & Accessory Design award runner up, Chloe Grant – Commercial Design award runner up and Anna Breward – Sustainability award runner up.

To find out more about the awards, visit:

RAF Advertisement