Pensole Footwear Design Academy will launch Pensole/MLab Powered by Vibram, a hands-on, four-week, intensive design immersion program focused on material design principles, according to Pensole founder D’Wayne Edwards.

“We have always believed in the importance of having color and materials as part of the Pensole curriculum,” Founder of MLab and Pensole Material Director Suzette Henry said. “And as industries shift how they manufacture, the need for specialized color and materials skills grows.”

Both Edwards and Henry felt the timing was right to launch color and material focused courses; as such, both Pensole footwear and material design students will be given insights that will prepare them for these global roles.

The master class will take place from February 20 to March 17, 2017, at Pensole in Portland, after a global search for 20 aspiring designers — comprising 12 in footwear, five in color and materials and three in brand design. The students will compete to design an athleisure shoe using materials from Pensole/MLab’s key vendors, with a Vibram outsole developed specifically for this course. The winning designers will receive compensation from Vibram for the design, which will be sold globally.

Photo courtesy Pensole