When you enter the doors at PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy, located in downtown Portland, Oregon, you’ll quickly realize that you’re entering a studio that is unlike any other space that exists in the world.
No, I didn’t mistype the words “you’ll quickly realize that you’re entering a studio that is unlike any other space that exists in the world.”
You see, what started as an idea that was inspired by his own journey, D’Wayne Edwards created a space where creative folks from all over the world will want to enter, learn, be pushed to be better and leave with a new appreciation for footwear, design, problem solving and sharing what they learned while studying at PENSOLE.
PENSOLE came to be because D’Wayne’s mother instilled in him, and his 5 siblings, to BELIEVE.A poem, simply called “BELIEVE”, hangs on the wall and while many may miss it and walk right past it, it’s a mantra of D’Wayne’s and when students graduate from PENSOLE he gives each student a wall-sized copy of the poem.
On Saturday, October 28th, D’Wayne touched down in Boston and when I say that he assembled an all-star cast of footwear designers, Product Line Managers (PLMs), materials and trends folks and sales folks, my words don’t do the panel justice.
Let’s just say that the audience was able to meet some of the people that are driving the sneaker and footwear industry, which is projected to grow to $84 billion by 2018.
Thank you to everyone that attended and especially to the youth, their parents, and teachers who participated and asked great questions.
As Sean “Paper Chasr” Williams (OSD-Obsessive Sneaker Disorder) often says, “To be continued.”