LACE UP | A Word from D’Wayne Edwards

As you may have seen from our previous post, D’Wayne Edwards’ Pensole has teamed up with YouTube Red to offer up a never seen before sneaker design reality tv show entitled, LACE UP: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge.

“It has been over 7 years since I left JORDAN as Footwear Design Director to start PENSOLE Academy to help young aspiring designers to turn their passion for designing sneakers into a career. To date we have over 200 former students working but I want to do more so I’ve been working with YouTube Red for the last year, to create an original series called LACE UP: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge. Never thought I would do a reality show but I wanted to celebrate our culture and give people from around the world the opportunity to see the hidden secrets of what it takes to create sneakers. I personally selected 12 aspiring designers from around the world to come to PENSOLE and compete to design a shoe for James Harden and ultimately earn a design job at adidas.

To elevate the show, we brought in some familiar faces to hang in the studio with us: sWoozie will be hosting each of the 8 episodes along with Anthony Anderson, Fetty Wap, Ashley Graham, Macklemore, Jamie Chung, Stan Smith, Jesse Wellens, Eddie Huang, Jacques Slade, James Harden, and Damian Lillard as special guests.

My career started by me simply dropping a new sketch everyday in a wooden suggestion box while I was a file clerk at LA Gear back in 1988 with hopes someone would notice my work. 6-months and 180 sketches later I was blessed with an opportunity. Almost 30 years later, we have a digital suggestion box called the internet. Throughout the series, we created the LACE UP Suggestion Box, a social media contest open to anyone interested in submitting designs (launches 9/14 at LACEUP.TV) with the goal of discovering new talent, a modern version of my discovery 29 years ago. We will select 7 winners who will receive a scholarship to attend PENSOLE so I can show them how to go from sneakerhead to sneaker designer.” – D’Wayne

Episodes 1-3 premiered yesterday (September 13th) at 11am PT on YouTube Red, with new episodes dropping every Wednesday. For a glimpse of what the show will have in store, check out the supercut below.

To see the episodes as they air, head here (only valid for today) for a free 3 month trial of YouTube Red.


END. Clothing

Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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