16 Feb D’Wayne Edwards
Born with a gift of being able to draw anything he could see, little did he know that a No. 2 pencil would help him design his life and live out his dreams.
Raised in Inglewood, CA, D’Wayne became one of the First African-American footwear designers and the youngest in the footwear industry when L.A. Gear hired at age 19 in 1989. D’Wayne Edwards was the former footwear design director, Jordan, a division of Nike Inc. growing the brand from 300 million to over 1.3 Billion in over a decade.
Over the course of his 27-year career D’Wayne has received numerous design awards, voted one of Fast Companies Most Creative People in 2014, owns over 40 patens, designed over 500 styles for athletes such as Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony and Michael Jordan. But, he is most proud of creating a pathway for more African American footwear designers with the creation of PENSOLE.
In 2010 D’Wayne founded PENSOLE the 1st academy in the U.S. dedicated to Footwear Design. PENSOLE was created to give talented designers—regardless of socioeconomic background—an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best and to provide the footwear industry with a farm system for the next generation of designers. PENSOLE has quickly become the premiere footwear design school in the world by secured partnerships with the industries top footwear brands, over 150 design schools globally and has over 100 former PENSOLE students working professionally for some of today’s top brands: Nike, Under Armor, Adidas, New Balance, Reebok, Converse, Kenneth Cole, Timberland, JORDAN and others globally.