Call it a side step from its sneakers roots into the world of high fashion.
Pensole Lewis College (PLC), in partnership with The Capri Holdings Foundation for the Advancement of Diversity in Fashion (Capri Foundation), has announced a masterclass to introduce students from historically underrepresented communities—including Black, Indigenous and People of Color—to career paths in footwear and accessories design. The PLC x Capri Foundation masterclass is part of the $20 million pledge made by Capri Holdings Limited (parent company to luxury brands Versace, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors) to the Capri Foundation in support of its mission of advancing equality and promoting long-term change in the fashion industry.
“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,” states PLC founder and President Dr. D’Wayne Edwards. “This is a major step in the right direction.”
Sixteen students have been selected to participate in a five-week accelerated footwear and accessories design masterclass that began Jan. 8. Tuition and living expenses will be funded by the Capri Foundation. The masterclass curriculum will stem from a design brief co-created by PLC and the Capri Foundation and will feature a number of guest speakers from the Capri Holdings, Versace, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors design, retail management, communications and recruitment teams. The curriculum aims to provide valuable insight and mentorship to students and will culminate in a workshop with Sandra Choi, creative director of longtime PLC partner Jimmy Choo.
“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 says. “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.”