Student designer’s shoes set for high street debut at River Island

Student Ben Donlan whose work placement designs have been selected to go into production for River Island.
Student Ben Donlan whose work placement designs have been selected to go into production for River Island.
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A talented design student’s footwear creations will take to the stands in River Island shops next summer.

Ben Donlan, from Birstall, impressed so much during a work experience placement at Wetherby-based NorthStar, which has design contracts with high street chain stores, that his colour schemes were taken up and will be sold nationwide in 2015.

The final year De Montfort University Leicester footwear design student, who is a former pupil of Bruntcliffe High School in Morley, has also been asked to continue as a freelance design creator with NorthStar until he finishes university.

The 21-year-old said: “This is the first big thing for me with my designs and is very exciting.

“I was given quite a lot of freedom and leeway at NorthStar. I did a bit of work on the original design and then added some more features, which they liked.”

He said extra shoe features he included are a mudguard to protect the toe area of the shoe and heatseals, which are a rubbery design feature.