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Student shoemaker scoops 2nd top award in 12 months

George Paish from Moreton in Marsh (centre) is pictured with fellow bespoke orthopaedic shoemakers Bill Bird (right) and Russell Marks from Bill Bird Shoes.
George receives his Student Shoe Fitter of the Year Award from comedian Ian Moore (l), Rosemary Gray President of the Society of Shoe Fitters and Laura West Secretary of the Society of Shoe Fitters (r) at the prestigious Footwear Industry Awards ceremony in Birmingham.
George receives his Student Shoe Fitter of the Year Award from comedian Ian Moore (l), Rosemary Gray President of the Society of Shoe Fitters and Laura West Secretary of the Society of Shoe Fitters (r) at the prestigious Footwear Industry Awards ceremony in Birmingham.

Budding Blockley shoemaker George Paish from Bill Bird Shoes joined the very best in footwear at the weekend – and won Student Shoe Fitter of the Year!

The Footwear Industry Awards celebrates excellence and innovation exercised across the field and is specifically designed to celebrate the brands, retailers and professionals at the heart of this vibrant sector.

No stranger to industry accolades, this is George’s second major award win in 12 months. Last year, the 27-year-old from Moreton in Marsh, scooped the 2019 David Xavier Student Bespoke Shoemaking Award. His latest win was revealed at the highly-anticipated black tie awards ceremony on Sunday 23 February at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham.

“I’m delighted to bring the trophy back to Bill Bird Shoes for a second time. My colleague Becky Thorne won this award five years ago, so for Bill Bird Shoes to win it twice is an amazing achievement that means a great deal to us,” said George.

“To win the award I had to complete a 5-month shoe fitting course. The portfolio I produced included all that I had learnt along with photographs, drawings and 3D elements to support my learning. A lot of time and effort went into what I had produced so it’s great to be rewarded.”

Now in its ninth year, the Footwear Industry Awards is established as one of the most important dates in the sector’s calendar, with a wide range of categories designed to reflect the varied breadth of the footwear trade.

Awards are made in recognition of the very best companies, products and individuals at every level, from bold, independent start-ups to well-known multinational corporations.

“The industry is given the chance to have its say in who takes home an accolade – with votes from the sector’s professionals being used to determine shortlists in the brand categories, and the retailer and industry accolades being entirely decided by the secure online voting process. This means that winning an award is a truly unrivalled and independent stamp of approval,” said the organisers, Datateam Business Media, publisher of Footwear Today magazine.

The Footwear Industry Awards is supported by the British Footwear Association (BFA), the Society of Shoe Fitters (SSF), the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers and Footwear Friends.