In the wise words of Kanye West, Black Future Month is here. For the annual observance of history and representation, companies throughout the nation are doing their part to provide initiatives for Black prosperity. Designer Shoe Warehouse announced today that they have committed to investing in the first Black-owned U.S. footwear factory, JEMS by Pensole.
DSW took to Instagram to share the announcement saying, “Black people only represent 3% of designers in the footwear industry. This has to change. Our goal at DSW is to increase diversity within the footwear design world, starting with our partnership with Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, President of Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design.”
This initiative is not only special for the fact that it uplifts a Black-owned business, but it also puts a spotlight on student designers from Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design — a HBCU located in Detroit. Edwards is not only the Principle of the college, but the Founder as well. With more than 30 years of experience, Edwards is one of the most prominent Black designers in the footwear industry. DSW’s investment provides generational mobility for not only the university, but for the individual students and the surrounding communities.