Footaction jumped into the New York Fashion Week fray, revealing the winners of a design competition that it launched last summer.
Called No 1 Way Design Program, the contest was run in partnership with Pensole Academy, a Portland, Ore.-based design school, and included an invitation to current college students or recent graduates at more than 85 historically black colleges and universities around the U.S. The finalists were selected to attend a three-week masterclass at Pensole led by Angela Medlin, founder of Function Apparel and Accessories Studio.
The winner was Nachae Davis of Clark Atlanta University who received $15,000 and her designs will be carried at Footaction stores and online this fall. Chakierrah Stinson of Tuskegee University came in second place and received $10,000 while Brianna Thomas of Dillard University was awarded $5,000 for her third-place showing.
Medlin said 150 students applied for the program after it was announced in August. She said the designs, which were centered around the concept of the future of fleece, were intended to be the students’ take on “who they see as the Footaction woman.” Men’s wear was not included in the contest.
Vladimir Estiverne, vice president of corporate development: strategic investments and portfolio development for Footaction’s parent company, Foot Locker, said the newly instituted program is intended to help the company give back while championing youth culture and supporting the “next generation of designers.”
He said the plan is to continue to partner with Pensole in the future on other projects. “We’re working on broadening the store base and focusing on sustainability and making clothes for the real woman,” he said. “And this is another step to do that.”
Footaction operates around 250 stores in the U.S. and is “positioned at the intersection of sport and style,” according to the company.