The last three months have been a whirlwind for Isamu Jarman. After winning Pensole’s 21 Days of Design Challenge in 2018, he was awarded a Two Ten scholarship to attend the PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art) @ Pensole. A 12-week intensive class that is widely regarded as the industry’s premier design course, preparing students for a successful career in footwear.
“Honestly, it’s the hardest I’ve ever worked,” said Isamu in a recent interview with Two Ten. “I’m certain I lost a couple of years off my life and added a few white hairs on my head, but I’m proud and truly grateful to Pensole and Two Ten for making all this possible.“
After graduating from the University of Oregon in 2013 with a BFA in Product Design, Isamu was ready to land a design job in the footwear industry, but things didn’t go as planned. “It hasn’t been the career path I expected, but I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I’m a better designer because of it,” said Isamu, who’s been working as a cobbler at Derek’s Shoe Repair in Portland since 2016.
Needless to say, landing a design position in the footwear industry is difficult. Like most things, it not just what you know, but also who you know. Pensole’s class delivers both. Putting graduates on the fast track by providing extensive experience in concept-development, problem-solving, color strategy, materials, prototyping, 3D modeling, marketing, business, networking, branding, and professional development.
“I just want to constantly improve and this class was the best opportunity for me to advance my skills and build my network,” said Isamu. “If not for Two Ten, I would not be where I am today as far as my journey and experience in pursuing the field of footwear design!”
This year the Two Ten Scholarship Program is making a concerted effort to further the education of those who want to make a career in the footwear industry. This scholarship is exposing the future elite designers of our industry, and giving Two Ten the opportunity to support them. We are proud to support designers like Isamu as they continue to develop their skills, constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in footwear design and construction.