Footaction Launches ‘No 1 Way Design Program’ For HBCU Students

Footaction Launches ‘No 1 Way Design Program’ For HBCU Students

Footaction launched the No 1 Way Design Program, 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.

“Footaction’s No 1 Way Design Program will create opportunity and bring talents from untapped communities to the forefront,” said Richard McLeod, vice president of marketing for Footaction. “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. This program represents our long-term commitment to nurturing the next generation of talent, while offering them opportunities in design.”

Pensole founder D’Wayne Edwards and his 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,” said Edwards. “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.”

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. For more information or to apply to the Master Class, visit