Pensole Footwear Design Academy announced the launch of its new Functional Apparel and Accessories Studio (FAAS), which will add apparel design to the school’s master class programs, according to Pensole founder D’Wayne Edwards.

“The establishment of the Functional Apparel and Accessories Studio gets us closer to closing the loop of offering key careers that replicate the product creation team in a company, but in a learning environment.” Edwards said. “We currently offer footwear design, color design, material design and brand design. Adding functional apparel and accessories in partnership with Angela Medlin, with her background and experience, are a natural fit for Pensole’s continued development and expansion.”

Including a tenure as Jordan Brand apparel design director, Medlin’s 25-year career is firmly rooted in global apparel brands, including Nike, Adidas, The North Face, Eddie Bauer, and Levi Strauss & Co., where she focused on the design of innovative functional activewear and outerwear.

Under her direction, FAAS will focus on designing performance apparel and accessories: active and protective gear that assists in keeping the wearer warm, cool, comfortable and/or dry through materials, fit, construction, and other innovative techniques. Students will experience the same rigorous “learn by doing” curriculum of other Pensole programs, and will be introduced to all aspects of performance apparel design, including effective use of consumer insights, concept development, sketching, construction, materials and storytelling. FAAS also emphasizes professional skills such as branding, interview techniques, networking, portfolio development, and verbal and visual presentation. All FAAS students will walk away from master classes with the knowledge of cross-discipline product creation, best practices in apparel development processes, and an exceptional project they are proud to share with potential employers, fellow designers, and the world.

“The first principle I learned in design school was ‘nothing in design is arbitrary,’” Medlin said. “FAAS is built on this simple premise. It’s a holistic approach to creating beautiful product that performs with and for the consumer.” To hear more, click here

The first FAAS program will be part of this fall’s PENSOLE x PNCA Design Intensive, which is accepting registrations now: