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Iconic designer holds All-Star sneaker workshop for youth

Posted at 11:34 PM, Feb 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-15 23:34:23-05

INDIANAPOLIS — An iconic designer who has created more than 500 footwear styles for pro athletes and entertainers is in town for his contribution to All-Star Weekend, but he’s also taking the time to help local kids tap into their own talent.

On Thursday, nearly two dozen students at the MLK Community Center got to put their passion on paper with the help of Dr. D’Wayne Edwards.

“What I’m looking forward to most is being able to take the ideas out of my head and put it onto something physical,” said Ali Taziyah, an 11th grade artist who participated in the sneaker workshop.

Students coloring template at Sneaker Workshop

Dr. Edwards hosted the sneaker workshop, focusing on the use of color and telling a story through the shoe.

“Being able to help them understand that the shoes you got on look like that for a reason,” he said.

Dr. Edwards is the president of Pensole Lewis College in Detroit, the only designed focused HBCU in the country.

Before teaching, he designed for some of the greats.

“From NBA ball players, like Michael Jordan and Carmelo, baseball players, Derek Jeter and a bunch of other guys from the Yankees and other teams,” he said.

Dr. Edwards and his team passed down some of that knowledge and experience to the kids.

Students Participating in Sneaker Workshop

“I feel like I can learn a lot from these people,” added Taziyah.

The goal of the event was showing the students they can be behind the design on their own feet.

“It's a wonderful opportunity to explore graphic design and artistic empowerment through a medium that I think is widely accessible to so many young people,” said Seth David, the Program Coordinator at the Best Buy Team Center at the MLK Community Center.

“To switch their thought process from being a consumer to being a contributor and creator. Maybe their path can be a little bit different than what they thought before coming in here,” added Edwards.

Dr. Edwards helped design some of the basketball court and jerseys for the HBCU Classic during All-Star Weekend.

He says he hopes this can be the beginning of a partnership between his HBCU and Indianapolis.