Vans, Timberland and The North Face Launch Apprenticeship Design Program for BIPOC Talent

Could you be the next big footwear designer?

DiverCity by Design Masterclass
Participants have the opportunity to earn a one-year paid rotational internship.

In an effort to cultivate and elevate the talents of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) designers, the VF Corporation brands Timberland, Vans and The North Face have partnered with Portland-based footwear design academy PENSOLE for DiverCity x Design, an 11-week design apprenticeship and masterclass that works to provide young designers with the skills necessary to navigating the footwear industry.

The program, for which open enrollment begins today, will begin with a statewide search for the top 27 aspiring footwear designers who will then go on to participate in a three-week Design Essentials course. At the close of the three weeks, the top 18 designers will move on to an eight-week masterclass, and from there the top five designers will eventually be selected by a panel of judges that include industry experts and leaders from Vans, Timberland and The North Face. Each winner will go on to receive a one-year paid rotational internship where they’ll spend four weeks working at each brand’s headquarters, gaining career mentorship and opportunities.

Working with PENSOLE, the brands involved developed a curriculum that will help to provide the participants with the knowledge and experiences necessary to becoming a well-rounded and professional footwear designer. Students will acquire hands-on experience when it comes to footwear design principles, production creation process, professional development training and brand engagement. Application submission for the program closes March 30.

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