A School, Clarks Originals Launches Student Design Challenge

Clarks Originals is teaming up with One School for a student design challenge that will see the winning shoe design go into production.

One School, the free portfolio school for black creatives developed by The One Club for Creativity, partners with Cobbler to offer students a unique design opportunity as part of their portfolio program enrollment. Clarks Originals is giving the group of 60 graduates from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta a chance to enter the world of fashion footwear with a call for new designs of the classic Wallabee boot.

“We are thrilled to partner with One School and connect with the incredibly talented students in their program. The band’s creativity is palpable and we can’t wait to see their take on Clarks’ signature style.” Tara McRaeCMO of Clarks, said in a statement.

A team of Clarks Originals shoe designers will review the design submissions and select a winner from the pool based on creativity, relevance and production potential. The winning design will then be produced and sold worldwide, with a contribution of profits going to the student to help further their education and career. Additionally, Clarks has sponsored two student spaces to attend One School’s upcoming Spring 2022 semester.

“A school is designed to produce creatives who can understand, channel and impact culture in new and exciting ways,” Oriel Davis-Lyons, Spotify’s creative director who oversees the program, said in a statement. “Clarks Originals has been doing this for decades, so bringing such an iconic brand to our program gives our students the opportunity to create portfolios that show the full range of their talents and culture.”

The current design challenge has been so popular with graduates that One School and Clarks have decided to offer a similar challenge for the Spring 2022 semester, where prospective students will be asked to design a Clarks style and marketing plan.

“Clarks Originals provided an incredible opportunity for a One School student to design a real product – and it’s a testament to the creative caliber of those who have gone through the program,” Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club, said in a statement. “We are extremely proud of our graduates, 65% of whom are women, and very grateful to Clarks Originals for providing this rare product collaboration.”

Applications for the 2022 Spring Semester of ONE School are being accepted now.

Abdul J. Gaspar