adidas x PENSOLE “Earn Your Stripes” Diaries – Week 1

Following the World Sneaker Championship, PENSOLE has partnered with adidas for the Earn Your Stripes program. This three week design program focuses on finding and developing the next generation of adidas footwear designers. 15 creatives in the fields of footwear design, CMF and 3D digital design will work with adidas and D’Wayne Edwards as part of this one of a kind experience. These are their stories.

Tuesday: Day 1

PORTLAND, OR – A group of 15 students from around the United States, hand selected by adidas, met today at the Pensole Academy. Pensole is the premier footwear design school in the US and has teamed with adidas for the Earn Your Stripes class. Adidas invited nine Footwear Design students, three 3D Design students, and three Color and Material Design students to participate in an intensive three week Adidas design master class. Adidas seldom opens its doors to outsiders so this look into the Adidas design process will be very unique.

Tuesday was the first day of the Pensole x Adidas Earn Your Stripes class. Pensole founder and instructor, D’Wayne Edwards, started the class with an Adi Dassler quote. The quote was simply “Observe.” This quote is one of the 32 Design Standards that Adi Dassler laid out when he started the adidas brand. Our theme for these three weeks will be WWAD? or What Would Adi Do? We are designing for 2016, which is the 80th anniversary of adidas signing their first athlete, Jesse Owens, so we are going to focus on understanding Adi Dassler and his beliefs from the early days of adidas.

We spent the rest of the class time learning about what to expect from our time at Pensole and how to conduct ourselves while we’re here. Suzette Henry, the materials and colors instructor at Pensole, explained to us how our design teams will function. We would break up into three groups, each with a Colors and Materials Designer, a 3D Designer, and three Footwear Designers. Each group would then be assigned a current adidas athlete as our muse. Our group, Group 1, is comprised of Victoria Adesanmi as the Color and Material designer, Stefanos Krenteras as the 3D designer, with Eric Wada, Robert Patterson, and Dominic Dina as our Footwear designers. Our muse is the very talented Ajee Wilson, a professional medium distance sprinter. We are looking forward to an enriching three weeks and look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.

A bright eyed crop of students getting to know one another under the Pensole awning. Lucy and Sky from Adidas welcome us to the Earn Your Stripes program. The class listening intently to Sky speak about Adidas design. D’Wayne addressing the class. The classroom has been transformed into studio space for the design teams. Group 3 pretending that Brandon’s computer is actually on.