slem professors

slem professors

SLEM sets very high standards for its professors and lecturers. For instance, they all need to have ample experience and still need to actively be working on the cutting edge the footwear industry, so our students can be certain to learn to very latest info and techniques. SLEM's professors all run their own companies, apart from teaching SLEM's Professional Footwear Innovation candidates, thus opening the doors to their network and experience:

Nicoline van Enter

SLEM is the brainchild of Nicoline van Enter, world-renowned footwear forecaster and consultant. Being educated as an engineer, journalist and market researcher, she is known for her broad view, connecting aspects from society, culture, design and technology through a creative yet practical and commercial approach.

With her company Ytrends she specialized in young fashion footwear, consulting for leading brands such as Timberland, K-Swiss, CAT and Birkenstock and providing trend information to a wide variety of other companies, including Fornarina, Sacha Shoes, ART, Neosens, Diesel, Vans, Skechers, Converse, Reebok and Dansko. In the past four years she started consulting for Chinese companies, helping them to build professional design departments and solid brand DNA.

She lectures at trade shows around the world and is a visiting professor for the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Polimoda in Florence, Italy and the Guangzhou Panyu Polutechnic in China, to name but a few. Currently she focuses only on SLEM, working as a creative director for all activities in The Netherlands, China and other parts of the world.

Nicoline is responsible for the curriculum of the Professional Footwear Innovation program, mentors the company assignments and teaches forecasting and consulting methodology.

You can contact Nicoline directly at

Annaluisa Franco

Annaluisa Franco is SLEM's Head of training and professional development. She is in charge of the daily management of the Professional Footwear Innovation Program and is responsible for the curriculum in collaboration with Nicoline van Enter. 

She has a very international background; although from Italy, she has lived and studied in international settings in both America and Japan before moving back to Italy where she taught and worked in universities and institutes such as the IUAV University of Venice, Florence University of the Arts, SACI, Institute of European Design and others.
She studied Fashion Design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and at Sapienza University in Rome, before starting her impressive career in Academia. Most recently she was responsible for the academics at the Institute of European Design in Florence, a leading design school which she helped grow from scratch to more than 300 students.

Diane Becker

Diane Ellen Becker is a regular advisor and professor for SLEM; together with Nicoline van Enter she is responsible for the direction and curriculum of the institute. With her broad background in the Italian high-end footwear business she brings in the knowledge of craft and quality, combined with a creative, international view. She worked in all aspects of the specialty leather business, from visual merchandiser and buyer to designer of high-end leather goods and shoes, specializing in international trend research and creative brand identity, consultation and formation, both to fashion/design professionals and educational institutes.

She is a native New Yorker, but based in Florence Italy, where she headed the footwear and accessories design department at Polimoda for 10 years and was senior lecturer in the Luxury Management Masters. She is responsible for didactic projects for the Consorzio Vera Pelle Italiana Conciata al Vegetale and is the director of International and Creative studies at Hiko Mizuno in Tokyo. Diane has worked with many leading footwear companies, such as Camper, Ferragamo, Pancaldi 1888, Tods, Ferrari and Ballantyne.

She has extensive international lecture and workshop experience in Paris, Milan, Tokyo, London, New York, Shanghai, Bangkok and Seoul is now focused on the development of a network of international institutes for applied creativity and innovation, for instance connecting SLEM to other leading footwear institutes around the world, in order to build and share knowledge.

David Hsieh

David Hsieh is ‘our man in China’, where he manages our Chinese department. Originally from Taiwan, he has extensive experience in all kinds of footwear design, but mainly specializes in the casual and outdoor market, having worked in Europe for more than 20 years for major brands such as Clarks, Adidas and Benetton.

Besides managing SLEM China he also owns DHD London, a well-known design agency in Dongguan, working for many leading Chinese companies and designing his own footwear line, for which he recently opened various concept stores in China.

Furthermore David initiated a long-term project to research and preserve ancient Chinese crafts in footwear, by applying them in innovative and sustainable ways to modern footwear.