Press Releases


PORTLAND, Ore. – PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy and New Balance today announced the launch of The PENSOLE Master Class in Footwear Design, a hands-on, three-week, intensive footwear, color and materials design immersion program to introduce aspiring designers to the art of footwear design, according to PENSOLE founder D’Wayne Edwards.

The PENSOLE Master Class will take place from January 4-25, 2017, at New Balance’s Research and Design Center in Lawrence, MA, after a global search for the best 20 aspiring designers, comprising 15 in footwear and five in color and materials, is completed.

Registration begins today. Design students wishing to be considered for the class can apply at The final selection of 20 students will be announced on December 9.

New Balance will provide scholarships (tuition and housing) for the hand-selected aspiring designers to experience PENSOLE’s rigorous “learn by doing” curriculum, wherein students are assigned New Balance projects to develop.

Top students will have the opportunity to be considered for a one-year apprenticeship at the New Balance Design Foundry.

“This is our inaugural engagement with New Balance and we’re very excited to partner with the company’s design team,” Edwards said. “As with all PENSOLE programs, this is not a typical academic setting. At the end of the three weeks these students will have a different outlook on design, themselves and New Balance.”

The PENSOLE Master Class will feature industry professionals ranging from design managers, design directors, designers, pattern engineers, and recruiters, all there to share knowledge to inspire, guide and challenge young designers to reach their creative potential.

The class will emphasize a mix of footwear design and professional skills including:

Design process
Design briefs
Pattern making
Personal branding
Business conduct
Business networking
Portfolio development
Resume development
Time management
Visual presentation
Verbal presentation

PENSOLE’s “learn by doing” curriculum teaches students the entire footwear design process: inspiration, concept-development, design process, problem solving, materials, business, networking, marketing, and branding. PENSOLE features the most sought after faculty in footwear, comprised of both young professional designers and established footwear design leaders from the top footwear brands, with more than 100 years combined experience to help you with your professional development.

D’Wayne Edwards, a celebrated member of the global footwear community for the last 27 years, founded PENSOLE to give talented young design students—regardless of socioeconomic background—an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best, without financial barriers, and to provide the industry with a farm system for the next generation of footwear designers.

Since the first PENSOLE class in 2010, more than 175 Academy graduates have been placed professionally, full-time or as interns, for footwear companies worldwide, including Columbia Sportswear, Timberland, Converse, AND1, New Balance, Wolverine, Cole Haan, Under Armour, Keen, Ariat, Stride Rite, adidas, JORDAN, Kenneth Cole, Reebok and Nike.


Media contact:
John McIsaac
PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy
503-481-9621 (west coast)

Share this...