Since the beginning of the 20th century, sneakers have become artifacts of societal shifts, reflecting revolution in the 60s, punk rock rebellion in the 70s, and hip hop identity in the 80s, to name just a few.
Sneakers are a consumable aesthetic representation of culture, and their value as a medium for communication transcends the leather, mesh, and rubber of which they are comprised.
In this class we will examine sneakers as vehicles of expression through creating our own footwear concepts, by either using an existing model and brand or launching a model and company you dream up. As you run through the development process from sketches to shelves, you will brainstorm inspirations, draft designs, finalize a tech pack, and create an integrated marketing plan for your eventual product.
This class is for anyone interested in learning more about sneaker culture, the footwear industry, and the process of designing and marketing sneakers.
Elliott Curtis is a cultural entrepreneur with a passion for discovering the interlacing nuances of sport, fashion, music, and art. Born and raised just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Curtis traveled to Pittsburgh for college, where he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Decision Science and was a four year player on the school's basketball team.
While attending Carnegie Mellon, Curtis co-founded Sneakerology, the worlds first college-accredited course dedicated purely to sneaker culture. The class explored the cultural and chronological history of kicks, as well as emphasized the connection between personal identity and footwear choices. As a way to engage the surrounding Pittsburgh community with the class, Curtis and company put on Kicksburgh, a first of its kind footwear festival which brought together local street fashion retailers, sneaker collectors, DJs, artists, and breakdancers. Curtis also collaborated with Reebok on a limited edition Sneakerology Reverse Jam sneaker, with all of the proceeds from its sale benefiting The Hill House Organization, a local community center.
Sneakerology is still offered at CMU, and Curtis has converted the curriculum into a University Lecture Series, which launched in the Spring of 2011. Curtis' expertise on the subject has been featured in many major media outlets, including CNN.com and Sneakerpedia.
Along with the class, Curtis has several years of experience within the footwear industry, lending his talents and knowledge to industry heavyweights Reebok and BBC International.
In addition to creating Sneakerology during his time in college, Curtis co-founded his current progressive street fashion company, vitaminTHICK, as a dedication to the positive and unwavering energy of childhood. What began as a bespoke sneaker customization service has now grown into a multi-tiered clothing brand distributed in premier shops across the country. Along with an original and directional product offering, vitaminTHICK is a platform for well aligned collaborations, exposing unsigned musical talents, and exploring the boundaries of street fashion.
Thu, May 23rd, 2013