Championing for more diversity in fashion, Footaction has kicked off a creative platform specifically for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
On Monday, the popular athletic apparel brand announced their No 1 Way Design Program in collaboration with Pensole Academy -- which is a Portland-based design academy with a heavy focus on footwear.
The No 1 Way Design Program is a competition-based initiative that gives students or recent grads of HBCUs the chance to design and submit for a chance to win everything from being a part of a mentoring program to potentially having their design shown during New York Fashion Week and sold at Footaction stores nationwide.
"Footaction's No 1 Way Design Program will create opportunity and bring talents from untapped communities to the forefront," Richard McLeod, vice president of marketing at Footaction, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be working with Pensole Academy as we work to create opportunities for students at HBCUs, share their stories and cultivate their entrepreneurship."
Once selected, five semi-finalists will be enrolled in a Pensole three-week masterclass that will prepare each student designer to bring their creative ideas to life as market-ready capsule collections.
"The No 1 Way Design Program underscores the need to grow and foster diversity and creativity in our industry," said Pensole founder D'Wayne Edwards in a statement. "We have chosen to work with HBCU students in order to celebrate the creative energy of this community and develop a platform to foster and express their individuality."
With the continual need for more inclusivity as well as diversity within the fashion industry, this program will help move the needle toward change.
More information on the program can be found on Pensole's website, and the deadline for submissions is on Sept. 29.