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Schuhmacher Ball For Young Shoe Designers

A load of cobblers brightened up the stage in the Austrian capital of Vienna when the annual Shoemaker Ball saw the best and brightest shoe designers from all over the world attend the industries VIP annual event.

The highlight of the Schuhmacher (shoe maker) Ball which first took place in 1938 was this year as every year the Crazy Shoe Award which was awarded to the maddest new shoe design.

The only criteria for entry is that the shoes have to be shoes that can be worn no matter how outlandish they look, and this year the prize was won by 20-year-old designer Lisa Brumbauer.

Her foot eating plants in the form of a shoe proved to be the hit with the jury, and she was awarded the top prize after the contest had seen her matched against the best shoe makers from around the world.

She said: "I worked on the design for about three weeks, using up all my spare time. I had originally looked at something to do with organic shoes but my shoes eventually ended up as a carnivorous plant project. I was really happy with it and am delighted that I won."

Second place was won by Austrian Theresa Gerlinger, 25, with her cobblers shoe made of shoe brushes, hammers and tape measures, and third place went to Martin Neubauer, 28,  who was from Vienna and therefore didn't have to travel to far to join in the event with his variation on the wooden clog.

The award was set up to stimulate the creative potential of young designers and this year as every year many of those who took part were young designers, some who are still studying and wanted to showcase their ideas.

Organiser of the event Andreas Kudweis, 45, said that this year's designs included a coral reef with fish, a steam engine and a snake skeleton. The ideas, he said, were submitted from designers all over the world, including Sweden, France, and Russia.

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