PENSOLE World Sneaker Championship Diaries: Day 14

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This summer, 30 young students from all the around the world have come together in Portland, Oregon, determined to change the footwear game by embarking in the PENSOLE World Sneaker Championship. Assigned to teams and representing a diverse range of brands, boutiques and major corporations across the industry, they’ve began their journey to design a product that’s ready for retail. These are their stories.


Roster: Dexter Sulit, Claudia Lopez, Daniel Raes and Marcus Taylor (CMF)

Remember how I talked about days when ideas are hard to get out? Well today was one of those days. When you get closer to the end of a design you have to start thinking about the little details. Where to take out material for flex, where to add material for protection and where to curve and change elements to make it more visually appealing. This wouldn’t even be the last steps when actually designing shoes for a company. That’s when the real trouble starts because then you have to start making samples and going to marketing meetings and make sure that the integrity of your design stands up to the corporate structure. There are many people involved in the process and they all want to leave their mark on the shoe. How do you navigate that windy road and keep the design ultimately yours? A shoe design is your baby and you’re not going to let anyone else teach them any bad words. It’s not a perfect analogy but you know what I mean. I’m not sure how I would handle that situation but hopefully I will land a job and find out soon.

Here are my designer essentials.

#1 a TEDx Portland backpack courtesy of Pensole. #2 your laptop with all the fancy programs. Not to mention any stickers you can find, including a metallic beard sticker. #3 Coffee to keep you awake and all the fancy sketching tools money can buy.

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