Pensole Academy Links With Footaction For HBCU Masterclass

Footaction just launched No 1 Way, a creative platform which champions youth culture’s constantly evolving self-expressive style, celebrates individuality, and proves there is No 1 Way to pursue one’s passion.
The No 1 Way Design Program is an open call for recent graduates of, or current students at, the 85+ Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country.
The competition-based initiative will be launched in partnership with Foot Locker, Inc.’s Portland-based strategic partner, PENSOLE Academy.
PENSOLE Academy was founded by D’Wayne Edwards in 2010.
The mission is to give talented young design students—regardless of socioeconomic background—an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best, without financial barriers, and to provide the industry with a farm system for the next generation of footwear designers.
The experience and visibility provided by the No 1 Way competition will foster diversity of talent and champion the idea of creative individuality.
Edwards and his accomplished roster of academy instructors will lead the competition, providing mentorship and guidance to the students throughout the process.
Five finalists will be selected for a three-week PENSOLE Master Class that will support these rising stars and help bring their creative ideas to life as market-ready, apparel-focused capsule collections.

“The No 1 Way Design Program underscores the need to grow and foster diversity and creativity in our industry. 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.” – D’Wayne Edwards

The Master Class will have the chance to showcase its designs during New York Fashion Week in February, with cash prizes going to the top three finalists.
A final winner will be selected by a panel of esteemed judges and the winning No 1 Way collection will be produced and sold in Footaction stores nationwide.
Through the No 1 Way platform, Footaction will create an open stage for all creators to share their stories and style through their unique lens.
Beyond the design competition – and launching in the coming months – Footaction will also introduce retail and pop-up activations, creative workshops, digital and social content programs, and branded collaborations, which will all speak to the creative and style-conscious community Footaction serves.
For more information or to apply to the Master Class, please visit