Gardiners Footwear designer wins national award
By Matt Hall | 22nd September 2022
A footwear designer from Quedgeley-based wholesaler Gardiners has won the title of 'Footwear Designer of the Year' at a prestigious awards ceremony praising the talents in the shoe business.
Hannah Stiles, employed by the family-run footwear and clothing firm, was awarded the accolade due to her stylish range direction with comfort brand 'Hush Puppies', which is designed and distributed for the UK market by the company.
The 32-year-old from Bristol studied Footwear Design at De Montford University in Leicester and joined Gardiners in 2017. Since working with the fifth-generation family wholesaler, her talents are said to have grown from strength to strength.
Ms Stiles said: "I was amazed to win Footwear Designer of the Year. It was a great surprise. I've worked with the Hush Puppies brand at Gardiners for five years now and in the early days I was really attracted to the heritage of the brand and how famous it is globally.
"It presented an exciting opportunity as Gardiners wanted to follow the brand direction for the UK market, which was going a lot younger, and now caters to a much wider age range."
"It's quite different to other brands on the high street as it's very casual and comfort based. I'm constantly monitoring trends and investigating optimistic colour fashions to design the new constructions.
"I work with a fantastic team of brand-builders at Gardiners as well as global experts in comfort technologies to create the most comfortable soles and styles suited to the fashion of the UK high street."
The Footwear Industry Awards represent an independent stamp of approval of both technical excellence and outstanding reputation among industry peers.
Retailers and brands across the sector nominate and vote for professionals to be awarded at the live presentation at the Birmingham NEC. These coveted awards provide recognition and highlight how much creativity there is to celebrate in the industry.
Director Ben Gardiner added: "This is a well-deserved achievement, Hannah is a real talent. Her hard work and dedication shows in the quality products produced in the men's, women's and children's ranges.
"Over the past three years, we've seen phenomenal growth in the brand. Hush Puppies is an amazing brand to work with.
"We're excited to be growing the family business and it's credit to people like Hannah in our team. Well done Hannah."
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