Marjolijn Van Agt

The 3rd Annual Global Footwear Awards Winners Announced

March 30, 2023

The Global Footwear Design Awards (GFA) is announcing winners for its 3rd edition, showcasing a variety of exceptional creative potential across 20+ categories in all levels: Brands, Independents, and Students. The GFA recognizes visionary design talent from around the world with an ambition to provide the highest recognition to footwear designers in all categories including sustainability and social impact.

The submissions closed at the end of January 2023, leaving the jury panel composed of 33 experienced designers, academics, retailers, and media representatives in the Footwear Design industry to select the winners in each category. The program received a record number of submissions from talented footwear designers, fashion enthusiasts and students from 35 countries, making the competition tougher than ever before.

The Global Footwear Design Awards 2023 winners are:

Brand of the Year: SPLIT designed by Marjolijn Van Agt, Netherland – Vanagtshoes

Independent Designer of the Year: AYUMA. designed by Catia Di Carlo, Italy

Emerging Designer of the Year: VOLT designed by Dempsey Pauwels, UK – Academy Of Fine Arts Sint-niklaas (sask)

Other winners receiving the “The Best Overall Design” included Timberland Timberloop™ Trekker by Chris Mcgrath, Global VP of Footwear at Timberland, AWAKENING by Ying Ou, a student of the University Of The Arts London, NIKE ISPA KIDS CONCEPT designed by Jianwei Sun, a student of the Artcenter College Of Design, BBLU – Printing The Future by Andrew Artajaya, a student of The Köln International School Of Design and many more.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the judges for their dedication and hard work in selecting the winners. They have been inspired by the level of innovation and design vision showcased by many young professionals and established brands:

The Global Footwear Awards is a great competition for both young and aspiring designers to showcase their concepts and also for established brands to let their work compete against each other.” Timon Kuhlenkamp, On Running Footwear Designer.

Apart from enjoying the variety in creativity, I was most happy to see that more and more designers start to think of footwear as an area to tackle socio-political issues and so plays a part in taking the discipline beyond only reproducing styles of fashion, and playing with technology, and engaging with real-life issues.” Eelko Moorer, LCF MA footwear course leader.

Congratulations to all the winners and their respective teams for their remarkable contributions to the design industry. The Global Footwear Design Awards will continue to provide a platform igniting creativity and showcasing the work of aspiring designers, professionals, and brands pushing the boundaries of Footwear design.

Here are the 2022 ‘Design of the Year


Dempsey Pauwels, UK – Academy Of Fine Arts Sint-niklaas (sask)
Emerging Designer of the Year





Catia Di Carlo, Italy
Independent Designer of the Year




Marjolijn Van Agt, Netherland – Vanagtshoes
Brand of the Year



Here are the 2022 ‘Best Overall Designs

Timberland Timberloop™ Trekker

Chris Mcgrath, Global Vp Of Footwear – Timberland
Best Overall – Sustainability




Marjolijn Van Agt – Vanagtshoes
Best Overall – Women’s Fashion



Gabriel Giordano

Gabriel Giordano
Best Overall – Sports Performance




Dempsey Pauwels – Academy of Fine Arts Sint-Niklaas (SASK)
Best Overall – Men’s Fashion




Ying Ou – University Of The Arts London
Best Overall – Special Awards in Social Impact




Jianwei Sun – Artcenter College Of Design
Best Overall – Kids



BBLU – Printing The Future

Andrew Artajaya –
Th Köln / Köln International School Of Design
Best Overall – Unisex Fashion



Royal Clash – part 1

Deborah Kiwi
Best Overall – Special Awards in Artistic Footwear



Wacky Pack: O-Snap

Ye Shen – Rhode Island School Of Design
Best Overall – Fashion Sneakers



View through the rest of the GFA 2022 winners 

Congratulations to all winners on their outstanding work!

“It’s been such an exciting journey seeing all the work this year. The level of creativity conjointly with innovation and sustainability made us realise why we do what we do. I hope that our platform encourages many more aspiring designers, professionals, and brands to continue pushing boundaries of design as we provide space and exposure for their creative visions to ignite.” Jennifer Cullera, GFA Managing Director. 

To learn more about GFA’s award structure and winner benefits, and more, click here. For any press inquiries, email. info@globalfootwearawards.