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Pensole Lewis College and Foot Locker Collaborate to Empower Black Creatives

Pensole Lewis College and Foot Locker Collaborate to Empower Black Creatives
Photo Courtesy: PLC Detroit

PLC Detroit, in collaboration with Foot Locker, has launched a groundbreaking Footwear Creation Studio in Detroit aimed at nurturing the next generation of footwear designers. Located at 200 Walker Street, the studio is an example of innovation and opportunity, spearheaded by Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, President of PLC Detroit. This initiative aligns with PLC Detroit’s mission to empower Black creatives, providing them with the necessary resources, education, and support to excel in the footwear industry.

The Foot Locker Footwear Creation Studio spans over 5,000 square feet and offers breathtaking views of the Detroit River, symbolizing the boundless possibilities in footwear design. Under Dr. Edwards’ leadership, the studio provides a comprehensive range of services including shoemaking workshops, sample-making, and small-scale production capabilities. Its establishment is a testament to PLC Detroit’s commitment to fostering creativity, innovation, and diversity in design with the support of strategic partners like the Gilbert Family Foundation and Target.

PLC’s president, Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, expressed his honor to unveil the Foot Locker Footwear Creation Stu/deo at the new Detroit campus and stressed that it is a space that will inspire the next generation of footwear creators and design visionaries, providing them with the resources and education to excel in the industry. 

The collaboration with Foot Locker, along with foundational support from the Gilbert Family Foundation and Target, underscores a shared vision of promoting diversity and innovation within the design industry. The Gilbert Family Foundation’s generous contribution of $10 million over five years has been instrumental in revitalizing PLC Detroit, enabling the institution to graduate hundreds of future designers since its rebirth in 2022. 

Elliott Rodgers, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Foot Locker, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, expressing that the collaboration further demonstrates the commitment to invest and create opportunities for creatives to excel in the fashion industry. While Foot Locker always hopes to create moments for brand loyalty, the studio space serves a larger purpose that is tied to Foot Locker’s LEED Initiative – to create greater opportunity and access across the sneaker industry ecosystem.  

PLC Detroit’s influence extends far beyond the confines of its campus. Under the guidance of Dr. Edwards, whose illustrious career includes collaborations with icons like Michael Jordan and Nike, the institution is shaping the future of design. 

The Foot Locker Footwear Creation Studio is not only a facility; it’s a symbol of hope and progress for Detroit’s vibrant Black community and a stepping stone for aspiring designers. As Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Rocket Companies and the Gilbert Family Foundation, said, Detroit’s spirit of innovation is alive and thriving at PLC, paving the way for the next generation of creative achievers.


Published By: Aize Perez


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