Parsons reinterprets classic American men's shoe

In celebration of their 90th Anniversary, Allen Edmonds, the U.S.-based manufacturer of premium men’s footwear and accessories, announces the launch of an innovative student design competition with one of America’s top design schools, Parsons The New School for Design – the first men’s shoe competition for the school.  The winning design will be produced and sold in the upcoming Allen Edmonds Collection.

Click here to Vote for your Favorite Design. Voting starts February 17 and runs through March 2, 2012.

“We’re always working to push the design boundaries at Allen Edmonds,” said Paul Grangaard, President and CEO of Allen Edmonds. “Parsons is an absolutely premier American design school, and we believe the creativity of Parsons’ student designers will give us a fresh perspective on classic American styling.”

The design competition began with many strong submissions from Parsons Fashion Design students.  From there, six semi-finalists were chosen and afforded the opportunity to spend two days at the Port Washington factory working with the Allen Edmonds design team to transform their sketches into 3-dimensional CAD designs ready for public voting.

Students were challenged to reinterpret the classic American men’s shoe with unique textures, on-trend colors and thoughtful attention to detail, while staying true to the Allen Edmonds origins of classic menswear. Student original submission illustrations are posted here.

“We believe very strongly in local manufacturing and preserving artisanal skills,” said Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons The New School for Design. “And Allen Edmonds embodies all of those things. They make exquisite shoes. They make many of them by hand. And most importantly, they are a terrific American manufacturer.”

The top three finalists will have the opportunity to work the factory floor in Port Washington and bring their designs to life.  Allen Edmonds leather cutters, master sewers and burnishers will show the students the ropes as they develop their drawings into shoe prototypes for the final voting stage of the competition. On March 26, the top three finalists will be revealed.  The winning design will be chosen based on public voting, as well as the input of an expert judging panel and included in the upcoming Allen Edmonds Collection.

To watch videos of the students hard at work, and to vote for your favorite design, Click here.