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“Sneakerhead of State” Offers Students and High School Art Programs More than $89,000 in Cash, Scholarships and Prizes  

Portland, Ore. — PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy today announced registration is open for PENSOLE Sneakerhead of State, a national high school design competition, according to PENSOLE founder D’Wayne Edwards.

“The first spark that I could have a career in this industry hit me by winning a design competition when I was in high school,” Edwards said. “Having a program dedicated to finding pre-college design talent and giving those individuals a pathway into college has been a mission of mine since day-one. It is our industry’s responsibility to show these young minds they can be more than just consumers.”

Funded by The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, Sneakerhead of State was developed to introduce young people to creative career paths in apparel and accessory design, color design, graphic design, and footwear design.

Students will compete online across four categories for the chance to win a scholarship to attend the PNCA at PENSOLE college program, while schools have a chance to win funding for art programs. The grand prize winners will be crowned the SNEAKERHEAD OF STATE and their product will be made and sold on Proceeds from the sales will help fuel future competitions.

Sneakerhead of State is powered by the National Arts Education Association, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Vibram, New Era, MLab at PENSOLE, FAAS at PENSOLE, and

Visit for more information, rules, terms and conditions.


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 29 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 375 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.


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