Earlier this year, the Department of Trade and Industry alongside the Philippine Footwear Federation Inc., announced the upcoming annual Filipino Footwear Design Competition for the year 2020. Since the initial call for participants, unforeseen circumstances arose and put a hold on the national contest. With the effects of the CoVid-19 pandemic that struck a nationwide quarantine as well as the recent devastating onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, FFDC 2020 seemed albeit subject to a hindered come through.
Despite these challenges, hope and optimism rose above for the local shoe industry and the organizational hosts of the competition still persevered to meet their hopes of presenting the talent and ingenuity of Filipino design and craftsmanship.
The Industry that upholds heritage and innovation
The Filipino Footwear Design Competition is the annual national competition organized to rally and present the creations of the talented designers and makers of the country. It is often a pre-set in preparation for the International Footwear Design Competition, a prestigious event that highlights footwear design concept and development on a global scale. The objective of FFDC is to encourage more local talents to pursue footwear design as a profession or business and to showcase to the world the resourcefulness and Filipino creativity.
The Department of Trade and Industry along with the Philippine Footwear Federation Inc. (PFFI), serves as the host and presenter of the Filipino Footwear Design Competition. Both parties recognize the importance of raising awareness and support for the local shoe industry as well as developing a commune for skill enhancement to empower the Filipino talent pool. This coincides with DTI’s agenda of supporting the local creative industries to hone its potential towards building the Philippines as one of the top creative economies in Southeast Asia by 2030. PFFI serves as the main founding party behind FFDC given that it is the largest Filipino organization devoted to promoting local footwear. Through the leadership of DTI Regional Director Marcelina Alcantara with PFFI President Antonio Andres, FFDC 2020 will continue the legacy of creativity and innovation brought on for the past seven years.
A New Breed of Creativity
The official call for participants was held last March 2020, garnering more than 70 unique entries from a number of talented local designers. The design boards submitted are in line with the six categories presented for the competition: Men’s Shoes, Lady’s Trendy, Lady’s Leisure, Lady’s Boot, Children Shoes, and Sports Shoes. These designs then underwent the vetting process of drafting the initial shortlist of finalists who will then be given the opportunity to have their designs professionally prototyped by local manufacturers.
Launched this December 2020, the 7th annual Filipino Footwear Design Competition pushes through with the theme: Creative Virality; carrying on the objective of reaching a wider audience to celebrate the uniqueness and originality of Filipino talent. Presented by DTI alongside PFFI, and co-presented by the Philippines’ first creation hub for footwear design and development, Zapateria, the national competition gathers the community of the local shoe industry to team up in the mentorship and production of the designs of the Top 8 National Finalists; with the final output to be presented to an esteemed panel of judges.
FFDC 2020 will also host a number of experiential learning activities; setting forth a program that also empowers the new generation of local creatives. These workshops on footwear making 101, sketching, designing, and cost and projection are also offered for the public to join.
Adapting to the age of digitally accessible media, FFDC 2020 aims to highlight the creativity and ingenuity of these Filipino creatives to a bigger online audience. The development and creation process of the Top 8 National Finalists will be digitally showcased on the PFFI and Zapateria’s official Facebook and Instagram.