World Footwear


adidas teams up with Pensole to launch Earn Your Stripes

Jul 7, 2014 United States
adidas teams up with Pensole to launch Earn Your Stripes
The initiative aims to attract aspiring designers to participate in an intensive design program created to find and develop the next generation of designers for adidas footwear
Under the adidas Earn Your Stripes by Pensole program, prospective students apply by submitting an original adidas footwear sketch to by the 27th of July. A shortlist of 15 applicants will be announced on the 4th of August. This group of elected candidates will receive adidas scholarships for program tuition and housing, and will be given the opportunity to attend a two-week design class in September (taking place between the 2nd and the 19th) in Portland. After completing the program, participants will share their designs with adidas executives for a chance to see their creations produced and sold at adidas stores.

According to the press release issued by the Germany based sportswear giant: “The adidas Earn Your Stripes by Pensole curriculum will feature guest speakers and instructors from adidas ranging from design directors, design recruiters and hiring managers. Students will be immersed in the footwear design process with a specific focus on performance design and innovation and how to bring to life creations with performance benefits.”

"We're finding the next generation of footwear designers who will bring the best in innovation to life”, commented Brian Foresta, Design Director for Originals at adidas, adding: "It's important that we foster the global design community by supporting young designers in their skill development. We've seen tremendous success from Pensole – including 11 program graduates who now work at adidas – so we're excited to see what's next from the academy."

Pensole is a United States based footwear design academy founded by D’Wayne Edwards. Raised in California, Edwards became the youngest designer in the footwear industry when L.A. Gear hired him as an entry-level designer at age 19 (in 1989). Over the course of his 24-year career D’Wayne Edwards has received numerous design awards and has created more than 500 styles for some of today’s premier athletes, now holding more than 30 patents. Edwards drew his first shoe with a No. 2 pencil and continued to do so with every design thereafter; the name Pensole was born as a tribute to that.

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. The Academy’s programs are open to applicants around the globe and are partially funded through private donations, school scholarships and corporate sponsorships. Since its inception in 2010, Pensole has hosted classes at MIT (Cambridge, MA), Parsons The New School for Design (NYC), Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA) and University of Oregon College of Architecture and Allied Arts (Portland).

"adidas Earn Your Stripes by Pensole gives students the unique opportunity to design a shoe while getting pointers along the way from some of the best in the game," said D'Wayne Edwards, adding "We're ready to give these aspiring designers real-world experience that will propel their skills to the next level."

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