After a colorful career as a design director of Nike and now having ‘retired’ to establish the Pensole Footwear Design Academy in Portland, Oregon, D’Wayne Edwards has been showing no signs of slowing down.

The self-educated footwear designer came from a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles and got his first job at LA Gear after submitting a redesign of one of their existing shoe designs. After impressing the design directors at LA Gear and establishing himself as somebody with a lethal eye for great footwear design, he moved to Portland, Oregon and became one of Nike’s youngest design directors ever at the age of 30. Before retiring just a few years ago, he had designed signature shoes for everybody from Michael Jordan and Carmelo Anthony to Derek Jeter and host of other professional athletes.


In a recent talk he gave for FastCo Design’s 2014 Innovation By Design Awards And Conference, he discusses how the philosophies of Bruce Lee ultimately helped shape his path as a designer.

Perhaps there’s something in there for you, too?

You can read them in full here.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.