Pensole and Adidas Team Up on Design Program

Adidas is looking for the next footwear talent, and it’s working with Pensole to find it.

The Portland, Ore.-based athletic firm launched the Adidas “Earn Your Stripes” program for aspiring designers this week. Applicants will have until July 27 to submit a sketch of an Adidas shoe to Pensole. From among them, 15 will be chosen to attend an intensive two-week design class in Portland.

Applicants will also receive scholarships for tuition and housing.

“Adidas Earn Your Stripes by Pensole gives students the unique opportunity to design a shoe while getting pointers along the way from some of the best in the game,” Pensole founder D’Wayne Edwards said in a statement. “We’re ready to give these aspiring designers real-world experience that will propel their skills to the next level.”

Edwards is a former Nike designer who founded Pensole in 2010 to provide footwear-focused design mentoring and hands-on learning. And he has made education his mission.

“At the end of the day, we’re trying to provide better talent for the industry because I don’t think the industry needs more designers, I think it needs better designers,” he told FN last year.

“We’re finding the next generation of footwear designers who will bring the best in innovation to life,” Brian Foresta, design director for Originals at Adidas, said in the statement. “It’s important that we foster the global design community by supporting young designers in their skill development. We’ve seen tremendous success from Pensole – including 11 program graduates who now work at Adidas – so we’re excited to see what’s next from the academy.”


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