A change from nude courts: Students design wacky pairs of heels for Duchess of Cambridge… and she will wear her favourite pair
The Duchess of Cambridge is not known for being very adventurous with her shoe choices.
She set a trend for nude courts in the spring, and this winter has rarely seen out of her black suede heels… So what on earth will she think of the wacky shoes that students from De Montfort University have designed for her
The Duchess will be presented with six sketches of shoes designed especially for her by students on the University's renowned footwear design course when she visits Leicester with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh next week.
Branching out: The Duchess of Cambridge is known for wearing black suede courts in winter and nude ones in the spring and summer
She will pick her favourite pair of heels on the day, and the winning design will then be made especially for her.
Kate will be visiting the city on March 8
on the first leg of the Queen's diamond jubilee tour. It will be the
first time the Queen and Kate have attended a public engagement
Students whose creations are in the running said it would be 'incredible' to design a pair of shoes for one of the most photographed women in the world.
The students were shortlisted by the lecturers at DMU from more than 100 applications.
They are Sam Sawkill, 27, Summer Spencer, 23, both from Leicester, and Kay Yeng Cheng, 22, from Hinckley, Leicestershire, Tabitha Duffield, 21, from Maidstone, Kent, Becka Hunt, 20, from Peterborough and Mei Chun Lai, 21, from Taiwan.
Finalists: The students from Leicester's De Montford University with designs of shoes they would like to see the Duchess wearing
One of the students, Tabitha Duffield, has sketched a pair of nude and pink heels which she thinks would suit Kate's style perfectly.
Tabitha said: 'I wanted something feminine and elegant to reflect her personality. There will be laser-cut flowers and fringing round the edges.
'It's so exciting, everyone loves Kate, especially after the royal wedding and that dress. She's in touch with high street fashion as well, which is appealing to a lot of people.
Kay Yeng Cheng, 22, from Hinckley, Leicestershire with her fairytale-inspired heels which she designed with the Duchess in mind
'All the designs are really good so I don't want to get my hopes up.
'It would mean the world if she chose my design. The fact this competition has even come our way is amazing.'
Summer Spencer's shoes are inspired by Kate and Prince William's coat of arms, with tartan reflecting the couple's time at university in Scotland.
She said: 'I wanted to reflect Kate's personality in my design and make it relate to her. My family are so proud and excited for me!'
Summer Spencer, 23, from Leicester with her shoes that are inspired by Kate and Prince William's coat of arms, with tartan reflecting the couple's time at university in Scotland
Sam Sawkill, 27, also from Leicester has designed an English rose-inspired pair of peep-toe heels
Becka Hunt added: 'I am so honoured and excited to be given such an amazing opportunity. My design is inspired by 19th century fashions and based around the things Kate wears, her engagement ring and her style.'
Meanwhile, Mei Chun Lai called her design 'Dragon Year'. She said: 'The concept comes from this being the year of the dragon and its shape is inspired by a lantern. I wanted to show my culture and background through my design. I didn't expect to get this far. It's such a great honour to be selected for the final six!
'Kate's style is really elegant but I think she might choose something a bit different with this, maybe.'
Mei Chun Lai, 21, from Taiwan has designed a pair of shoes that are inspired by Chinese New Year. This is the year of the Dragon
Tabatha Duffield, 21 from Maidstone, said: 'I wanted something feminine and elegant to reflect her personality. There will be laser-cut flowers and fringing round the edges'
Professor Dominic Shellard, vice-chancellor of De Montfort University, said: 'What a huge honour and magnificent opportunity this will be for the winning student.
'When asked who their first commission was for at their first job interview, they will be able to reply: “The Duchess of Cambridge, the world's leading fashion icon”.'
The shoes Kate chooses will be made-up and presented to her within a few weeks of her visit to the University.
Becka Hunt, 20, from Peterborough was inspired by The Duchess' engagement ring and the lace from her wedding dress
The Queen will be presented with a picture of a Corgi drawn by a primary school pupil in a competition to be judged by celebrated artist Sir Peter Blake.
She will also receive a headscarf designed by a De Montfort University textiles student.
The Duke of Edinburgh will be a given a lenticular – a 3D image – of himself driving a horse and carriage.