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Registration is Now Open for a New Program on Product Creation Informed by Utilizing Existing Resources

Portland, Ore. – Feb. 27, 2020 – PENSOLE Academy today announced the launch of a new design master class in partnership with San Francisco-based, direct-to-consumer footwear brand Allbirds, according to PENSOLE founder D’Wayne Edwards.

“Teaming up with Allbirds for this program, we want to reshape the way aspiring designers view sustainability by having them incorporate it into their designs from the very beginning,” Edwards said. “Rather than focus on future innovation, we’re challenging our students to utilize existing resources in a way they’ve never been used before.”

Footwear and apparel designers are invited to submit designs inspired by household items such as an egg carton, cupholder, mesh produce bag, coffee filter or teabag. Color and materials designers are asked to submit a one-page color/materials mood board inspired by biodegradable items.

“The central purpose is to help redefine what is considered sustainable by showcasing the creative process of people reusing and repurposing items,” Edwards said.

This hands-on master class, which will take place from March 23-April 10 at PENSOLE in Portland, will comprise design programs in footwear, color and materials, and apparel and accessories.

Registration is open now until March 9 at Twelve students will be selected to partake in the three-week “learn by doing” program. Tuition and shared housing is free, and the winning designers could be selected for internships at Allbirds.

About PENSOLE Academy
D’Wayne Edwards, a celebrated member of the global footwear community for the last 31 years, founded PENSOLE in 2010 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.

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, comprising both young professional designers and established footwear design leaders from the top brands, with more than 100 years combined experience to help its students with professional development. Suzette Henry created MLab at PENSOLE in 2010 as a dedicated resource, providing color technology and material innovation in customized educational programs.

In 2016, Anna Smith joined PENSOLE. With 15 years of experience spanning both education and product creation industries. Smith, a PENSOLE alum, has developed, managed and expanded programs at PENSOLE for the past three years. And in 2017, Angela Medlin joined PENSOLE as founder and director of the educational product creation resource The Functional Apparel and Accessories Studio (FAAS), where students are instructed in “true to industry” processes and sustainable practices.

Since the first PENSOLE class in 2010, nearly 500 Academy graduates have been placed professionally, full-time or as interns, for companies worldwide, including Anta, Columbia Sportswear, The North Face, Timberland, Converse, New Balance, Brooks, Cole Haan, Under Armour, Keen, Stride Rite, adidas, JORDAN, Kenneth Cole, ECCO, Mizuno, Reebok, and Nike.


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