Bohemian Crystal for Bata's Young Designers

The second edition of Bata Fashion Weekend came to Italy at the end of April, culminating in an entrancing blend of music, shows, design and craftsmanship in Milan’s Palazzo Mezzanotte.

Following its hugely successful debut last year in Prague, the concept for this year’s event was “The Sound of Style”; highlights of the weekend included the unveiling of Bata’s exclusive new B-Flex technology collection along with some Bata Heritage limited-edition shoes.

Then of course, there was the Young Designers Challenge.

Working with students from Prague’s prestigious UMPRUM academy and Italy’s Politecnico Calzaturiero, this annual competition aims to provide talented young designers an opportunity to pit their shoe-making skills against other talented youngsters, and potentially have their designs produced in the Kallisté factory and sold in Bata flagship stores around the globe.

This year’s competition in particular had a strong Czech theme – partly because Bata is a proud Czech company, and partly as a way of celebrating the country’s 100th anniversary. The theme of this year’s contest was ‘Elegant Shoes with Crystal Components’; as such Preciosa crystals were an integral part of all the designs.  

Preciosa was happy to donate crystals for the students to use in their designs, and all entrants into the competition attended a workshop with Preciosa instructing them on how to use Bohemian crystal in shoe design. It was the perfect partnership.

Thomas Archer Bata, Chief Marketing Officer, explained: “We were really happy to introduce a second edition of Young Designers Challenge, which is an example of creativity, craftsmanship and talent. It is absolutely vital for us to search for and encourage young talented designers to try and involve them and to support their growth.”

Eleven pairs of shoes made it to this great event as finalists. On the evening of Saturday 28th April, the two winning designs were announced. The winners were Tereza Kanyzova of UMPRUM, and Celeste Andrea Beggio of Politecnico Calzaturiero. Their shoes will now be available in select Bata flagship stores around the world, including Prague and Milan. We wish them both our sincerest congratulations!