Naima (2nd from right), with other members of her Camden Challenge team, receiving their finished trainers that they designed.
As I arrived at the Ted Baker HQ in Camley Street, King's Cross, I was stunned - the inside was beautiful! It looked as if everyone there was family as well. The interior design made the building feel like a home, not to mention the tasty mint water! After the tour, we were brought back into one of the training rooms and got placed in teams in which we would design our trainers, followed by the brief for our shoes - something to wear for prom.
Our group decided on unisex shoes that embraced a new beginning and young people to represent our brand. Eventually, we decided on a name: 'Turning A New Leaf With Ted' before packing up for lunch. Lunch was great and the staff talked with us as if we were friends, which was really nice.
With lunch finished, we went to the second floor, which was like walking into a supermodel’s wardrobe. All of next season's garments hung on hangers and magazines were displayed around the small section made for us with a long curtain as we sat on the comfy seating. Our group discussed the design of our trainer, and decided to each take home a shoe template and draw our own ideas. Almost as quick as it started, the day ended, and we each went home.
The next day was the day of our presentations! I met up with my team again and we swapped the shoe templates we had worked on at home. Everyone’s was amazing, but we agreed on my drawing being the base shoe design, with added components from everyone else’s – like stitching and colours – to it. The staff gave us a piece of foam paper, which would be our mood board that we present. Some drawing, practising, and a lot of stapling later, the time had come for the presentations.
Everyone was nervous, and it didn’t help when a large group of important people entered the room, ready to judge our every move. To top it off, they created a barrier of clothes on railings that we couldn’t see through to separate us from the panelling zone. Before we knew it, our team - Team C - was called up to present...
Later, everyone was told to sit together so they could announce the winners. We sat, eager to know who had won.
“And the winning team is...” Everyone inched closer.
“Team...” Who was going to get their design turned into the real thing? WHO?
WE HAD WON! Our whole team was elated - our shoe was going to be made! We spoke with judges and staff then agreed to do some follow-up meetings to perfect our sneaker. As I left to go and celebrate with my family, all I could think was how lucky I am to live in Camden. I will never forget the day I created a Ted Baker Sneaker with the best team I could ask for!
By Naima Browne, aged 14 (pictured above, 2nd from right), Year 9, Parliament Hill School