If you want to buy a pair of sports shoes, go to the store or online shopping stroll around just fine. But if you want to design a pair of sneakers, of course, things are not so simple.
“Most designer shoes educational background is in product design or industrial design also learn fashion design, but these courses is mainly about how to design women’s dress shoes, and the creation of this curriculum in American schools may only five or so. “Pensole Footwear Design Academy founder D’wayne Edwards said.
D’wayne Edwards from 2001 to 2010 served in Nike footwear design director, he is one of eight designers involved in Air Jordan series, giving Carmelo Anthony, Derek Jeter, Roy Jones Jr., who designed shoes, but also 2008 US Olympic national team shoe designer, was complex.com listed as one of the most influential shoe industry is currently 50 people.
Interestingly, Edwards himself and no professional background. He entered L.A. Gear shoe company any time clerk 27 years ago, was a high school student. 6 consecutive months of his day to the company’s employee suggestion box in the delivery of a different shoe design sketches, and finally at the age of 19 that day officially became a designer.
Until he became the design director at the start to recruit people, problems encountered in the original candidates seems to remain: “The US footwear industry can create value year $ 50 billion, and 80% are concentrated in Oregon, California, New York, Massachusetts Michigan and five states, but you can not find a few standard movement capability SHOES designers a lot of candidates actually. “” this is a different thing and SAT exams, you need a resume (portfolio). ”
The next story is like a reincarnation. Edwards launched a high school student for the Nike Jordan Future Sole Design Competition in 2008, after three years the number of matches each absorbed from 800-10000 Then he rose to 100,000. Therefore, in 2010, Edwards followed in Portland established the world’s first professional shoes School of Design Pensole Footwear Design Academy.
Pensole not as sound as just shoes Training College. Successful applicants free room and board, each control about 60 people. In fact, the main profit comes from the talent agency business and brand promotion. Edwards’s strategy is simple: the design department and the university brand sneakers butt – Universities can get internships and school teachers top brands, the brand you can find potential talents in advance, a number of joint projects competition held regularly can also increase exposure of the brand.
The curriculum is very tight here – for 14 hours a day in three or four weeks, learning content including consumer research, materials research, playing board. This setting is deliberate, because “the design industry is so cruel, you have to often stay up late to catch up on the project” and that “the company’s pace of work is not a” start “,” stop “,” start “,” stop “, but has been in “processing”.”
High-performance sports shoe design is much more complex than ordinary dress shoes. “You are giving the athletes to do the design, must first solve the performance problems, think of ways to make it look good.” “The whole process is like building a house or as complex as making cars, the use of very diverse materials, designers must also recognize that the shoes are basis for the entire body. ”
Even so, according to fastcompany.com reports, the number of applicants still apply for many, an average of 18 places per 850 applicants, some high school students (although it must be at least 18 years of age), while others are already enrolled in Parsons, MIT and other schools but we want to know the details of the design of shoes fashion students.
For these students, in addition to directly follow Nike, Adidas and Under Armour brands such as people working for decades to learn professional knowledge and experience, it is probably the greatest temptation for Designers Pensole commercial speed.
For example, this year they are with Foot Locker and Asics launched called “Fueling the Future of Footwear” project, after completion of the course the final winning works September 17 can be directly added to the Foot Locker store in – “that is spent 3 weeks just to show a 3-minute, three minutes and that could change a designer’s life. ”
However, Edwards thehundreds.com in an interview that he did not intend to rapid enrollment.
“I volume (size) is not interested. People come Pensole because they go to school in this so gathered here not the best student, but the ability and willingness to learn is designed for people …… they need an environment and together they can grow stronger than man. I was just, like Nike. “