Press Releases


Las Vegas, NV – PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy, in partnership with FN Platform and Stitch Factory, today announced the launch of the FN Platform Challenge, a hands-on, two-week, intensive footwear design master class to identify and introduce aspiring Las Vegas-area design students to the art of footwear design, according to PENSOLE founder D’Wayne Edwards.

The FN Platform Challenge will take place January 20 through 31 at the Stitch Factory fashion incubator in downtown Las Vegas.

“Stitch Factory and PENSOLE share a common mission of fostering the development of talented, emerging designers,” Edwards said. “And there is no greater showcase for new design talent than FN Platform.”

Stitch Factory will provide scholarships for 10 hand-selected aspiring designers to be a part of the challenge, where students will be assigned projects in the FN Platform categories of Bond (men’s), Camp (leisure), Cosmo (women’s), InPlay (children’s) and Zen (comfort). On the final day of the master class all 10 students will present designs to the Stitch Factory community, after which each design will be posted to for consumers to vote on five winners (one in each category).

All 10 students and their design boards will be featured at the PENSOLE booth during the FN Platform trade show, February 18-20; winners will be announced on the second day of the show.

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. Each student walks away from the experience with an exceptional project that is ready to be shared with potential employers, fellow designers, and the world.

D’Wayne Edwards, a celebrated member of the global footwear community for the last 25 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, there are more than 60 Academy graduates working professionally, full-time or as interns, for footwear companies worldwide such as Columbia Sportswear, AND1, North Face, New Balance, Wolverine, Timberland, Keen, Converse, Cole Haan, Under Armour, Stride Rite, adidas, JORDAN and Nike.


Contact: John McIsaac • 503-481-9621 •

Share this...