Student wins international awards with luxury sneakers design

The winning sneakers by Glodi Libondje
Silhouette image in blue

Article by: David Millett

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BA (Hons) Product Design student Glodi Libondje has taken home multiple prizes across five categories in the Global Footwear Awards, recognising him as one of the most promising emerging young designers in the world.

The Global Footwear Awards, now in their second year, acknowledge the most ground-breaking footwear designs in the business.

Glodi won four silver prizes and one bronze prize in the non-professional/student category of this international competition, a fantastic achievement for this budding entrepreneur and designer.

The winning sneakers by Glodi Libondje

His winning luxury shoe design is inspired by Congolese La Sape culture, a movement renowned for its focus on elegance, extravagance and exuberant fashion expression. His GbS1 sneaker design incorporates complex shapes and materials to realise this concept and meet current fashion industry trends.

The upcoming brand also has a strong emphasis on social and humanitarian issues. The sneaker is made from around 70% recyclable materials, including waste materials such as used car tires in the soles and eco-friendly materials like Eva foam, eco-leather, silicone and handwoven cotton.

The footwear won silver in ‘Supporting local communities footwear business’, silver in ‘Utilize more than 60% recycle materials’, silver in ‘Utilize more than 70% recycled materials’, silver in ‘Biodegradable materials’ and bronze in ‘Other fashion innovation footwear’ categories.

Render of different styles and colours of sneakers

Once launched, La Sape will funnel at least 10% of its sales into young people’s education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and 20% into the Marcus Rashford free school meal campaign.

Glodi said: “Winning this award will really help me bring recognition to a new footwear brand I am developing. The endorsement of the award has really motivated me to drive forward with my project.”

Product Design course leader Nadine Bennett said: “It is fantastic to see Glodi begin to realise a long-held ambition to work in fashion footwear. The endorsement these awards hold will really help his career and entrepreneurial progression.”

Render of a sneaker by Glodi