Pensole Footwear Design Academy kicked off the Pensole World Sneaker Championship (WSC) yesterday and Founder D’Wayne Edwards calls it the school’s most expansive footwear design master class to date. “The goal of the WSC is to show the world how impactful the sneaker industry is, by highlighting the top aspiring sneaker designers from around the world through the premiere sneaker brands in the industry,” he says.
Featuring 30 hand-selected students from 16 different nations around the world, including the United States, Africa, China and Japan, the WSC places its students in eight competitive design teams, with three footwear designers and one color and materials designer in each. Over the four-week class–July 21-Aug. 15–each team will take an original design idea from a concept to a finished design. Among the brands and categories the students will create designs for are Nike (women’s sportswear), Under Armour (basketball), and Adidas (running).
On August 15 the students will present their final designs to noted footwear industry design professionals at Pensole and online in front of a panel of judges, who will pick eight finalists to present their designs at FN Platform in Las Vegas the following week. Once the finalists are announced, their designs will also be featured on SI.com for public voting, and the winner of each category will be announced on August 20.