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Former Nike Design Director Inspires OCAD Students

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Olivet University design students gathered to hear former Nike Design Director D'Wayne Edwards lecture on design and his journey through the industry. Edwards showcased his past work during the lecture, while describing the challenges that many designers face in lives and in their vocation.

Edwards was a leading talent in the footwear design industry. On his path to success, Edwards did not shortchange himself on his dreams.  He dreamt big and continues to dream big by setting up goals that appear unachievable. But through diligence and self-motivation, anything is possible. 

Growing up in the hostile environment of Inglewood, CA, Edwards surpassed all expectations. He became the youngest designer to work in the footwear industry, and later becoming the youngest director at Nike. Edwards was the footwear designer for popular athletes such as Michael Jordan, current basketball star Carmelo Anthony, and baseball's Derek Jeter.

Edwards shared about his philosophies on life and his approach to design:

"Be better than yesterday. As a designer you still have to grow and not deteriorate. Like sports, the more design you do, the better you'll become.  If you stop doing it, you'll get worse at it," said Edwards, as he challenged the audience of designers.

Edwards left everything behind at Nike to establish Pensole, a footwear design academy that strives to offer opportunities to aspiring designers. Edwards is now partnering with major companies to promote design competitions, opening new avenues for young designers to showcase their talent.  Students had the opportunity to ask questions and chat with the former Nike Design Director after the lecture.