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“SOLLECTION” is a Four-Week Intensive Immersion Class in which 12 Designers will Create Six Shoes in Three Categories for Levi’s Footwear to be Sold at Retail 

Portland, OR – December 7, 2015 – PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy today announced the launch of Levi’s® Footwear SOLLECTION, a four-week intensive footwear design master class created in partnership with Levi’s Footwear, according to PENSOLE founder D’Wayne Edwards.

Registration opens today for the class, wherein 12 designers will be selected from a global search to create six shoes for Levi’s Footwear in three categories: Boots, Lifestyle, and Sneakers.

“Levi’s is an iconic brand in apparel that I have admired for years,” Edwards said. “So it’s particularly exciting to partner with a brand of this stature in developing emerging design talent that will in turn create a new design language for Levi’s—in footwear.”

The six-shoe Levi’s Footwear SOLLECTION will be sold exclusively at a Levi’s® Footwear retail partner nationwide.

“Levi Strauss sold our first pair of boots in 1853 as a dry goods merchant,” Levi’s senior vice president of business development Tom Berry said. “With PENSOLE’s SOLLECTION class we look forward to mining this rich brand history and working with fresh talent from around the globe to reimagine footwear for one of America’s most loved and iconic brands.”

This master class will feature three teams of designers:

  • Three Color + Material Designers: Team Manager, Design Language, Visual Presentation, Color and Material Design
  • Three Brand Designers: Market Opportunity, Distribution Plan, Sales Strategy, Marketing Plan and Business Plan
  • Six Footwear Designers: Consumer Profile, Storytelling, Design Process, Branding, Packaging and POP

Submissions will be accepted only through starting today until 11:59 p.m., January 10. Students who are selected will receive full scholarships, including tuition, airfare and lodging, from Levi’s Footwear. The 12 winning entrants will be announced on January 25. Levi’s Footwear SOLLECTION Master Class will take place at PENSOLE in Portland.

Prospective students can submit in one or all three categories, using the following guidelines:

FOR FOOTWEAR: Submit one hand sketch (no computer) of an original footwear design in black and white or color. Multiple views are optional.

FOR COLOR/MTL: The MLab Color + Material program runs in conjunction with PENSOLE. Submit a single 8.5”x11” color + material storyboard in PDF or JPEG format. This must use material references.

FOR BUSINESS: Submit a one-page creative product launch plan. Example of topics to be included are branding, marketing plan, advertising campaign and sales strategy. Using images is optional.

All applicants must be 18 years of age, and international applicants must have legal right to enter the United States.


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 the footwear world, comprised of both young professional designers and established footwear design leaders from the top brands, with more than 100 years combined experience to guide students in their professional development.

D’Wayne Edwards, a celebrated member of the global footwear community for the last 26 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 140 Academy graduates have been placed professionally, full-time or as interns, for footwear companies worldwide, including Columbia Sportswear, The North Face, Timberland, Converse, New Balance, Cole Haan, Under Armour, Keen, Stride Rite, adidas, JORDAN, Kenneth Cole, ECCO, Reebok and Nike.


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