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Supported by Adidas, the Inaugural Program will Annually Recognize and Promote Product Creation in 3D Modeling, Color/ Material Design, Concept Creation, Footwear Design and Functional Apparel and Accessory Design

Portland, OR — PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy today announced the launch of the very first PENSOLE International Design Awards Supported by Adidas (PIDA), according to PENSOLE founder D’Wayne Edwards.

“This new awards competition celebrates of the next generation of product creators,” Edwards said. “PIDA aspires to highlight, reward and foster the up and coming global design community with the support of a global brand in Adidas.”

All entries are evaluated in a closed setting by PENSOLE founder D’Wayne Edwards, MLab founder Suzette Henry, FAAS founder Angela Medlin, and Adidas experts in each category. Entries will be judged based on: design innovation, marketability and potential to be manufactured.

Applicants can register in the following design disciplines: 3D modeling, color/material design, concept creation, footwear design and functional apparel and accessory design. Gold, Silver and Bronze winners will be designated in each category, and awards include prototypes of the winning designs made by Adidas, visits to Adidas Village in Portland, OR, and scholarships to PENSOLE programs.

Submissions are open through July 18; finalists will be announced on July 27. For more information and registration, visit


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.

About MLab at PENSOLE

Suzette Henry created MLab in 2014 as a dedicated resource for PENSOLE Design Academy, providing color technology and material innovation in customized educational programs. Through vendor partnerships and a culture of creative transparency, MLab has become a global talent pool for color and material design through its curriculum, professional development and mentoring.

The PENSOLE/MLab partnership sets the school apart as the only educational institution in North America that provides this combined skill and training. MLab is always evolving collectively to incorporate both seasonal and future learnings from a variety of industries to bridge communication and connect the threads of design. The goal is to be passionate about CMF and change lives.

MLab partners include: MatMarket, Clarino, TLC, Ariaprene, AX Suede, Insite Insole Tech, Sadesa, X Rite/Pantone, Favini, Sappi, San Fang, Mogae, Bemis, Dupont, Wolverine, Schoeller, Carbitex, Paiho, Yuan Ling, Poron, Cordura, Invista, Bond Laminates, Ecco Leather, Pacific Leather Group, Framas, Ding Zing, Cone. Baiksan, AsiaTan, Eastman, Merck EMD, Freudenberg, Chen Tai, Kuo Yuen, Youngil, Horween, Dae Sung, Eunsung, DongWoo, NAT, SBJ, Tong Hong, Vibram, Sandream Special Pigments, Dayl Mesh, Unique Group, Zin, Ortholite.Hickies. and SRL Bloom.


Angela Medlin is the founder and director of the educational product creation resource – The Functional Apparel and Accessories Studio (FAAS) at PENSOLE x PNCA, where students are instructed in “true to industry” processes and sustainable practices.  Emphasis is placed on solving consumer needs through relevant insights, functional design, and innovative materials.

As design director and lead designer, Medlin’s 25-year career and passion for great design has elevated activewear, sportswear, and outerwear in global brands that include Nike, Adidas, The North Face, Eddie Bauer, and Levi Strauss & Co. Her industry experience began as a burgeoning designer at Cross Colours and lead to, most recently, the leadership position of design director for Jordan Apparel at Nike World Headquarters. and IG: @faastudio

Since the first PENSOLE class in 2010, more than 400 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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