Dirty Soles Footwear Group in partnership with the City of Newark and Aglet announced the first, city wide sneaker design competition in September. Using carefully crafted judging criteria, representatives from Dirty Soles, Aglet and the City of Newark’s Arts and Cultural Department selected the winners and a small awards ceremony was held at Studio Sole, Newark’s first black owned sneaker shop & footwear academy on Saturday December 19, 2020.
First prize winner Aurora Amigon, a sophomore at Arts High School received $500 and a grant award to attend the “Art of Shoe Making 101” eight week course provided by Dirty Soles Foundation and made possible by a generous scholarship donation from Mr. Scott Schuester. Her design was also digitized and is currently featured in the Aglet gaming app.
The second place winner - Jose Romero, a freshman at Arts High School, along with the 3rd place winner, Angel Rivera both received scholarship awards to attend the “Art of Shoe Making 101” eight-week course made possible via funds donated by Aglet.
“Our ‘Art of Shoe Making 101’ course is intended to introduce students to the footwear industry. We cover everything from sneaker design to the process involved in manufacturing shoes so our students are able to learn about various careers in the industry as well as obtain an intro to the skills required to pursue it as a future profession or as an entrepreneur if they choose.”, commented Cory Strong, the course lead instructor.
“One of the goals is not only to offer education but to also provide hands on, pre-apprenticeship training that will be valuable job skills in the future.”, T. Strong, CEO of Dirty Soles added. “In fact, based on student performance, we were able to open the door to a paid internship interview for one of our October 2020 Graduates. These are the types of experiences we aim to continue to provide.”
All three winners from the design competition are scheduled to participate in the next “Art of Shoe Making 101” eight-week course which will begin in January 2021. They will have the option to attend in-person, via small learning pod sessions taking place at Studio Sole, Newark’s first Black Owned Sneaker Consignment and Retail shop or they may attend virtually. During the awards ceremony, each winner was also presented with a new pair of sneakers and Studio Sole merchandise.
With studies being done across the country closely monitoring the COVID-19 impact on education, the Dirty Soles Footwear Group Team say they plan to do their part to increase engagement with creatives, educating and inspiring imagination in students interested in the sneaker industry and the culture that influences it.
The Dirty Soles team consists of a conglomerate of business professionals proficient in footwear manufacturing, sales, marketing, business development, social media & influencer marketing as well as shoe design. Collectively we have established and continue to perfect what we call “the incub8tor.” This unique space is dedicated to identifying and supporting local entrepreneurs, designers, artists, culinary specialists and writers. The “ Studio Sole ” retail location in Newark was born from the incub8tor initiative and is the first black-owned sneaker consignment shop in the city. Studio Sole also dually functions as an exclusive footwear academy where students learn the inner workings of the sneaker industry in an effort to introduce them to new career opportunities. Dirty Soles Footwear Group. (DSFG)
To learn more about DSFG and how you or your organization can contribute to grants and scholarships for future enrollees of the course, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.