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.