Footaction and Pensole Academy Back Program for HBCU Students to Turn Designs Into Collections

Footaction is encouraging today’s younger generation to show their creative side with the launch of No 1 Way, a platform that celebrates individuality and proves there are many ways to pursue your passion.

The design program is an open call for recent graduates or current students of the 85-plus historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the country. The competition-based initiative will be launched in partnership with Foot Locker and Pensole Academy.

“Footaction’s No 1 Way Design Program will create opportunity and bring talents from untapped communities to the forefront,” said Richard McLeod, VP of marketing for Footaction. “We are thrilled to be working with Pensole Academy as we work to create opportunities for students at HBCUs, share their stories and cultivate their entrepreneurship. This program represents our long-term commitment to nurturing the next generation of talent while offering them opportunities in design.”

Pensole’s founder D’Wayne Edwards will be among the instructors leading the competition, providing mentorship and guidance to the students throughout the process. Five finalists will be selected for a three-week Pensole Master Class that will help bring their creative ideas to life as market-ready, apparel-focused capsule collections.

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“The No 1 Way Design Program underscores the need to grow and foster diversity and creativity in our industry,” said Edwards. “We have chosen to work with HBCU students in order to celebrate the creative energy of this community and develop a platform to better foster and express their individuality.”

Students will have the chance to showcase their designs during New York Fashion Week in February, with cash prizes going to the top three finalists. A final winner will be selected by a panel of judges, and the winning collection will be produced and sold in Footaction stores.

To apply, visit Pensole.com.

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