Launched last year, the program worked with 36 people, aged 17 to 20, to develop the knowledge, skills and experience needed to enter the sneaker industry. The program ends with the launch of a Reebok sneaker which was designed, produced and marketed by three of the students: Isaac Reeves, Ashley Hamilton and Ben Gass. The product will be available online and at APB stores in Columbia, Greenville, Charleston, Tallahassee and Jacksonville, Reebok said in a press release.
Reebok from the United States, the iconic lifestyle brand; in partnership with Yellowbrick, the online education platform focused on the creator economy; specialty sneaker and fashion retailer APB; and national non-profit education and labor organization, Jobs for the Future (JFF), announced the completion of their first collaborative online education and mentoring program.
The 36 participants were chosen through a rigorous national submission process that began in the spring of 2021. Once selected, students completed online instruction that ran weekly for 12 weeks. Pro bono instruction combined content from Yellowbrick’s popular Sneaker Essentials course (developed in conjunction with FIT and Complex) with live mentorship from Reebok and APB executives. The program covered sneaker development from concept to market, including design, sales, marketing and C-to-C retail. All participants produced a final project that included unique design, production, retail and go-to-market strategies.
“There is a perception in the sneaker industry that the only way in is through design channels pursued along traditional paths – we wanted to overturn that belief. With the support of this program, these gifted students now have valuable experience and portfolio pieces that will help them demonstrate their talents to the industry, regardless of the path they have taken. We are honored to have been part of this process,” Sean Finucane, Vice President, Wholesale at Reeboksaid in a press release.
“Our Sneakers Essentials course has been enhanced through the work we have done with Reebok, APB and JFF. Students have been able to interact directly with Reebok and APB experts representing all facets of the industry. We are immensely proud of what all participants have accomplished. We look forward to working with our partners on future career path programs,” Michael Godshall, Chief Creative Director at Yellowbricksaid in a statement.
“At JFF, we partner with innovators who create new models and solutions for social and economic progress. This Yellowbrick program not only works because it helps people build skills through work-based learning and career exploration, but it also invests in long-term student growth through mentorship. , social capital, and network connections that enable learners to access—and sustain—careers in high-growth sectors like creative,” Kristina Francis, Executive Director, JFFLabssaid.
Fibre2Fashion Information Desk (GK)