Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design has joined forces with another fashion powerhouse to help fund an educational program for underrepresented groups.
The D’Wayne Edwards-founded school has partnered with the Capri Holdings Foundation for the Advancement of Diversity in Fashion to launch a new masterclass meant to help historically underrepresented communities forge career pathways in footwear and accessories design. The masterclass is part of a $20 million pledge from Capri Holdings Limited, parent company to Versace, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors, meant to support the Capri Foundation’s committment to supporting equality and change in fashion.
“We are honored and excited to participate in this important initiative to educate and diversify an industry that has been supported by communities who historically have been left out of the product creation process,” said PLC founder and president Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, FN’s 2022 Person the Year. “This is a major step in the right direction.”
Pensole in November said it had partnered with VF Corp. for another diversity-focused masterclass called DiverCity x Design, an industry-certified class that is now in its second year. In the class, students worked in teams to create a project for one of the five VF Corp. brands: Dickies, The North Face, Timberland, SmartWool and Vans. Pensole said students from this masterclass who became VF Corp. apprentices have become footwear designers at Timberland and Vans.
As part of the new Capri program, 16 students will participate in a five-week footwear and accessories design masterclass. The program, which began on Monday, will feature a curriculum developed by PLC and the Capri Foundation and will include guest speakers from Capri Holdings, including Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Choi. The Capri foundation will fund tuition and living expenses.
“I have enormous admiration for the opportunities D’Wayne has created to support the future generation of creative talent in footwear and accessory design,” Choi said. “Education is power, to be able to play a part in providing an essential step in the learning journey of these talented students is a privilege.”