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Claima: Stories with Bimma Highlights Top Talent from the Sportswear Industry and How They Were Able to Claim a Seat at the Table

Portland, Ore. – April 7, 2020 – PENSOLE Academy today announced the launch the first of several online programs featuring top industry partners and professionals, alumni and staff that will run concurrently this spring, according to PENSOLE founder D’Wayne Edwards.

Claima: Stories with Bimma, hosted by footwear industry veteran Bimma Williams, is for job seekers looking to discover their dream careers at brands like Nike, Adidas and New Balance. On a weekly basis, Williams explores the inspiring stories of top creatives, designers, marketers, and innovators, and the incredible careers they’ve been able to claim. The interview series is broadcast on Zoom and airs every Tuesday through April 28, at 6:00 p.m. PDT. Register at

“The Coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted our day to day existence, reshaping how we work, communicate, and how we socialize with our loved ones,” Williams said. “It’s caused us to feel anxious, alone, frustrated, sad, and uncertain. In an effort to lift spirits and inspire, we’ve decided to launch our weekly live series on Zoom to help people through this tough time.”

The Claima series, along with additional competitions and livestreams to be announced, are scheduled to run on PENSOLE and partners’ digital platforms from March 31-May 26, and were designed to enable ongoing professional development during nationwide social distancing and shelter-in-place orders and were created for aspiring designers to interact through live interviews, design contests, and brand-sponsored learning.

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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