Julia Lebosse, a student at De Montfort University in Leicester (DMU), has enjoyed an all-expenses-paid trip to one of the world’s fashion capitals, courtesy of luxury sportswear brand Moncler.
The 20-year-old from Basingstoke was one of 50 fashion and design influencers invited to the launch of Moncler’s new Trailgrip trainer collection at its headquarters in Milan, Italy.
“I thought it was spam at first. An all-expenses-paid trip to Milan? It sounded too good to be true,” Julia said. thought it was a legitimate offer, I was very excited.”
Moncler’s new Trailgrip GTX trainer is currently selling for £540 and was designed by Nathan VanHook, who helmed collaborations with celebrities including Kanye West while working as Nike’s senior creative director of footwear.
For the launch, the fashion giant transformed its headquarters rooms to mimic the terrain you might encounter while hiking, allowing guests the chance to really test drive the new trainer. One room was filled with rocks and pebbles, similar to a mountain, while the other was filled with a grass surface.
“The Moncler team worked hard to make the launch as immersive as possible. First, they showed us the design journey, with every component of the shoe laid out in front of us and some of the next season’s items underway. Design.
“The Tailgrip is a super heavy shoe but it is really comfortable. It’s not a trainer you have to wear, it’s just comfortable to walk on right away – they’re really good in the terrains we tried.
Julia, who is studying fashion buying with marketing at DMU, has turned her passion for sneakers into an online platform to celebrate female designers and raise awareness of inequality in the industry.
She founded Sneakers By Women during the 2020 lockdown and has since amassed nearly 13,000 followers on her Instagram page. Among them is Nathan VanHook, who hired designer Elisa Ella Payer after seeing her work featured on Julia’s blog.
The new GTX Trailgrip trailer
Julia said: “Knowing that my work has helped a designer get a job at Moncler is a pretty amazing feeling. Sometimes you can forget that your job can make a big difference to someone somewhere.
“I actually got to talk to Nathan while I was there and he was such a big fan of the blog that maybe that’s why I was invited to Milan.
“He told me to keep doing what I’m doing because it makes an impact and helps a lot of women in the sneaker industry get their designs out there.”
For the next academic year, Julia will be looking to grow the Sneakers By Women platform by developing a business model through DMU’s business placement year.
The initiative replaces a traditional placement year and offers five students the opportunity to start or grow their own business ideas through one-on-one mentorship and unparalleled access to the DMU Entrepreneurship team.
Each student will receive a cash boost of £3,000 to help launch their business ideas and will have the opportunity to attend workshops, guest lectures and networking events across the city.
“The corporate placement year really came at the right time as I feel like Sneakers By Women is gaining momentum and I want to use the year to make the most of what I have created. Social Media are moving so fast, so I want to take them and evolve them from something purely online to something more tangible.
“Holding workshops and more in-person events – maybe panels or partnering with brands – will help the business grow. I look forward to having this year to invest solely in my business.
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2022