For Immediate Release
Portland, OR – PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy today announced the kickoff of the PENSOLE World Sneaker Championship (WSC), the school’s most expansive footwear design master class to date, according to PENSOLE founder D’Wayne Edwards.
“The goal of the World Sneaker Championship is to show the world how impactful the sneaker industry is by highlighting the top aspiring sneaker designers from around the world through the premiere sneaker brands in the industry,” Edwards said.
Featuring 30 hand-selected design students from 16 different nations around the world— Africa, China, Japan, Ecuador, Mexico, Israel, Pakistan, Sweden, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Vietnam, Honduras, Nigeria, Philippines and the United States—the WSC places its students in eight competitive design teams, with three footwear designers and one color and materials designer in each. Over the four-week class—July 21 to August 15—each team will take an original design idea from a concept to a finished design.
Students will create designs for eight different categories and sponsoring brands:
- Nike – Women’s Sportswear
- JORDAN – Training
- Under Armour – Basketball
- Adidas – Running
- Android Homme – Designer
- PONY – Heritage
- UNDFTD – Collector
- New Brand – Value
On August 15 the students will present their final designs to noted footwear industry design professionals at PENSOLE and online in front of a panel of judges, who will pick eight finalists to present their designs at North America’s largest footwear trade show, FN Platform, in Las Vegas, the following week. Once the finalists are announced, their designs also will be featured on SI.com for public voting. On August 20, at FN Platform, the winner of each category will be announced.
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 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, more than 75 Academy graduates have been placed professionally, full-time or as interns, for footwear companies worldwide, including Columbia Sportswear, The North Face, Timberland, Converse, AND1, New Balance, Wolverine, Cole Haan, Under Armour, Keen, Ariat, Stride Rite, adidas, JORDAN, Kenneth Cole, Reebok and Nike.