Pensole is an innovative footwear design school founded and taught by Dwayne Edwards, and Suzette Henry who came on to run the Materials Lab there. Both are long term Nike Brand Jordan veterans, and are the primary educators in the classes offered by Pensole.
Along with Anna Smith and other industry vets, these educators partner with brands to create accelerated programs, where students are put through their paces, receiving a world-class education specifically focused on footwear design.
Most of their students have formal backgrounds in industrial design, architecture, fashion design and more, with many also having work experience in the footwear industry, whether it be working at a local shoe store in their hometown, to already having their own design companies.
The application process is rigorous, with so many students applying from every corner of the world, but the classrooms are filled with the cream of the crop, resulting in amazing shoe designs, color applications, and branding strategies coming out of the program.
The Pensole students end up making connections in the industry otherwise unavailable to them from their previous backgrounds or educations, and many alumns go on to design for major footwear companies all over the world. The team at Matmarket feel so privileged to be a part of that and supply Ariaprene and other materials to their MLab, created by Henry.
We recently got a chance to workshop at their Vibram MLab class, which was Pensole’s first program focused on material design principles. A few types of Ariaprene were supplied to the MLab, and we got to explain more about custom package designs and applications. Students used Vibram’s signature footbeds and materials from Henry’s MLab to create athleisure designs for the class.
The Right Ingredients
We spoke to the students and got to preview their designs, and it’s clear that they have an unparalleled knowledge of footwear design. We got to help them create Ariaprene material packages that would work for their shoe designs and chat about the importance of footwear design from the inside out. Check out some of the photos and visit Pensole’s site to see the final creations.
Photos by Euri Park