D'Wayne Edwards, IDSA

President, Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design

With a career spanning over three decades, D’Wayne Edwards has over 50 patents and has designed more than 500 styles for premier athletes such as Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony, and Michael Jordan. He has received numerous awards from Red Dot, Mercedes Benz Fashion, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, and President Obama’s Volunteer of Service Award, and has taught and lectured at ArtCenter, Parsons, MIT, and Harvard.

In 2010, D’Wayne founded the first academy dedicated to footwear design, PENSOLE. PENSOLE has quickly become the preeminent footwear design school in the world, with over 700 former students working at the industry’s top brands.

Today, D'Wayne is the President of Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design (PLC) in Detroit. PLC is the first design focused HBCU and the first HBCU to reopen. PLC has been recognized by FastCompany as one of the most innovative design companies in the world.

How a No.2 Pencil Designed My Life

IDC Presentation

Sept 12, 2022

Main Stage

3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

This session is about how D'Wayne Edwards was introduced to a No.2 pencil as a child and how that instrument designed his life from not being able to attend college to becoming one of the top footwear designers in the industry.

D'Wayne has designed over 500 styles for entertainers such as Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Dr. Dre, and Nas, and athletes such as Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony, and Derek Jeter. He has over 50 patents, won numerous design awards, and walked away from the industry after a 25-year career to open his own Academy called PENSOLE.

PENSOLE quickly became the premier design academy, placing over 700 students into design jobs at Nike, Jordan, Adidas, New Balance, and other top brands. In 2021, Edwards merged his academy with a Detroit HBCU to create the first design focused HBCU, called Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design (PLC). PLC was awarded one of FastCompany’s top design companies in 2022. And PLC will be the first HBCU a part of IDSA.

In this session, you will learn:
• Where you start is not where you will end up
• Dreams are free and to dream bigger
• How education needed to be changed and how he changed it