Our sister portfolio site Coroflot is pleased to announce a unique opportunity for footwear designers to develop their portfolios and get their foot in the door, so to speak. Once again, we are sponsoring five scholarships for PENSOLE's annual Future of Footwear Awards and Master Class, held in partnership with FN Platform at MAGIC and Zappos.com.
To hear PENSOLE founder D'Wayne Edwards tell it, "Our mission is to provide aspiring footwear designers a platform to create their own brand and become the future of the footwear industry. This year we are welcoming Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and Coroflot as scholarship partners to reach an even larger base of emerging talent."
Future of Footwear entrants are required to "submit an original shoe design drawn by hand and rendered in color, using a marker" on the Mesh01 platform by May 26. PENSOLE will announce the 20 winners live on Google+ the following week, each of whom will receive scholarships to experience PENSOLE's rigorous "learn by doing" curriculum, in which students are assigned projects in the following categories:
1. Athletic - Footwear designed to help perform a sport or activity better
2. Dress - Footwear designed to wear at formal events
3. Kids - Footwear designed for kids of all ages
4. Made in USA - Footwear designed for manufacture in the USA
5. Sustainable - Footwear designed with recyclable materials and more efficient manufacturing processes
Coroflot will award one scholarship in each of the five categories, as will our friends at IDSA; the last ten will be selected by PENSOLE. All students will have an additional merit-based opportunity to present samples of their work at a major tradeshow:
At the end of the third week of class, a panel of industry judges and the PENSOLE Google+ community will vote to select 10 semi-finalists who will have samples of their designs made and be awarded a trip to Las Vegas to have their designs on display at the PENSOLE booth at FN PLATFORM, August 19-21, 2013.
Over the course of the first two days of the trade show, industry experts in attendance and the PENSOLE Google+ community will vote for one design/designer in each category to be crowned the 2013 PENSOLE | FUTURE of FOOTWEAR (total of five winners). The winning designs will have the chance to be sold on Zappos.com.
For this year's program PENSOLE is also partnering with web-based broadcasting software provider brandlive, who will broadcast the students' final presentations at PENSOLE and the announcement of the winners live from the FN PLATFORM show.
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. Each student walks away from the experience with an exceptional project that is ready to be shared with potential employers, fellow designers and the world.
D'Wayne Edwards, a celebrated member of the global footwear community for the last 24 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, there are more than 50 Academy graduates working professionally, full-time or as interns, for footwear companies worldwide such as Columbia Sportswear, Bluehaven, AND1, North Face, New Balance, Wolverine, Cole Haan, Under Armour, Stride Rite, adidas, JORDAN and Nike.