Pensole Academy Launches Levi’s Footwear Design Class

Pensole founder D'Wayne Edwards
Pensole founder D'Wayne Edwards.
Courtesy of brand.

Pensole Footwear Academy, which teaches students the shoe-design process, has launched Levi’s Footwear “Sollection,” a four-week intensive footwear-design master class, created in partnership with Levi’s Footwear.

Registration is currently open for the class, wherein 12 designers will be selected from a global search to create six shoes for Levi’s Footwear in three categories: Boots, Lifestyle and Sneakers.

The class will take place at Pensole in Portland Ore., from Feb. 8 to March 4, 2016. All applicants must be 18 years of age. International applicants must have legal right to enter the U.S.

“Levi’s is an iconic brand in apparel that I have admired for years,” said Pensole founder D’Wayne Edwards. “So it’s particularly exciting to partner with a brand of this stature in developing emerging design talent that in turn will create a new design language for Levi’s — in footwear.

The six-shoe Levi’s Footwear Sollection will be sold exclusively at a Levi’s Footwear partners nationwide.

“Levi Strauss sold our first pair of boots in 1853 as a dry-goods merchant,” said Tom Berry, Levi’s SVP of business development. “For Pensole’s Sollection class, we look forward to mining this rich brand history and working with fresh talent from around the globe to reimagine footwear for one of America’s most loved and iconic brands.”

The class will feature three teams of designers:

  • Three color-and-material designers:team manager, design language, visual presentation, color and material design
  • Three brand designers: market opportunity, distribution plan, sales strategy, marketing plan and business plan
  • Six footwear designers: consumer profile, storytelling, design process, branding, packaging and POP

Submissions will be accepted through Pensole.com until 11:59 on Jan. 10. Those selected will receive full scholarships, including tuition, airfare and lodging, from Levi’s Footwear. The 12 winning entrants will be announced on Jan. 25.

Prospective students can submit in one or all three categories, using the following guidelines:

For footwear: One hand sketch of an original footwear design in black and white or color.

For color/MTL: The MLab Color + Material program runs in conjunction with Pensole. Submit a single 8.5″ X 11″ color + material storyboard in PDF or JPEG format. This must use material references.

For business: Submit a one-page creative product-launch plan. Examples of topics to be included: branding, marketing plan, advertising campaign and sales strategy.