Foot Locker, New Balance and Pensole Launch Design Program Providing Opportunities For Under-Represented People In Footwear Industry

Pensole Design Academy has launched another program alongside industry heavyweights to help fulfill the dreams of young shoe and apparel design enthusiasts.

Foot Locker, New Balance and Pensole have created “Designing With Sole”, a program aimed at providing opportunities for those who are under-represented in the industry and who are interested in the design and marketing of footwear and apparel. The effort, according to the design academy, will create a pathway for under-represented voices in the industry, which includes outreach and support for the black community and its supporters, and will be offered at no cost to attendees.

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“Foot Locker and New Balance have both worked with Pensole on some very successful programs. This year, we’re focusing on budding designers in communities that have long supported the sneaker culture but unfortunately weren’t involved in the creation of its products. “Designing With Sole” will be an important step to correct this injustice ” Pensole founder D’Wayne Edwards said in a statement.

Registration is now open via, and will end on June 7. Once the online registration is complete, Pensole and New Balance will select 160 people from the entries and announce the finalists on June 21.

The first part of the program will begin online on June 28 and end on July 23. Once this part is completed, 60 students will be selected for a 12-week learning-by-doing program. Here, students will come together in teams and be introduced to the program of product creation process. It will feature ideas from New Balance design directors, designers, design recruiters, technicians, and developers.

Then the top 10 students will take an in-person course at New Balance, and at the end of the course, those from North America will have the chance to land a paid internship with Foot Locker and New Balance.

“Inspiring and empowering the culture of young people means investing in their future and raising the voice of those who have not been heard” Foot Locker Chief Executive Officer Dick Johnson said in a statement. “As part of our $ 200 million pledge to support the black community, we are proud to work with great brands like New Balance and Pensole on creating programs like these that create opportunities and open doors. within our industry that have been shut down for too. “

Although the year is still young, Pensole has been busy with educational initiatives. Before unveiling this program with Foot Locker and New Balance, the design academy announced in late April that it had has partnered with Allbirds on the Better Responsible Design Program, created to provide a diverse group of 20 designers with access to industry experts and professional training. Development, according to Pensole, is to provide future designers with tools to create works that respect the environment.

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Abdul J. Gaspar

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