2010 Future Sole Design Competition Finals –
Jordan T-Shirt Category Runner-Up: Jared Pahl
My experience at Future Sole was a dream come true to say the least. It was almost surreal when I got the email saying that I was a finalist. I couldn’t even focus on becoming a college student because I was too excited for the trip. The day couldn’t come soon enough.
The day finally came and, after all the calls from my parents making sure I was in Portland safe, it sunk in that I was one of the few people that were chosen to show Nike what they had. The first night was kind of an ice-breaker dinner because no one really knew what to think of the whole situation. During dinner we met with D’Wayne Edwards and Wilson Smith III from Jordan, Sean Williams from OSD, and all the other designers in the competition. After dinner we went back to our hotel, but I doubt anyone slept because the next day was our tour of Nike HQ.
Pulling up to the front of the Steve Prefontaine was a great start to the day. The tour consisted of a lap around the campus and going into a few of the important buildings. My favorite buildings were the Mia Hamm building, which houses the innovation kitchen and other offices, and the Michael Jordan Building, for obvious reasons. Being a huge Jordan fan, this was probably the highpoint of the entire trip. I saw original sketches of the Jordan VI by Tinker Hatfield. I saw the original Grape V’s, which are my favorite Jordans of all-time. I saw where all the designs are created and where I will be designing one day, hopefully haha.
Later that night, we went to dinner and met up with the mentors for the Future Sole shoe design finalists. It was very interesting to listen to what they had to say and how they got where they are today. It was very motivating to talk with people who are doing exactly what I want to do as a career after college. After dinner, we went back to the hotel and got rested up for the next day. The next day was the judging of our designs. Before judging took place, I was fortunate enough to go to the department of design for Nike 6.0. It was very interesting to see the new snowboarding products that Nike is starting to make. Being a snowboarder, I can really appreciate some of the technology and design of their products.
After that, the judging began. I was nervous to say the least. I was presenting my designs to people that I never thought I’d meet: the VP of Jordan, Jason Petrie, the designer of LeBrons, and many other people that had been looking at designs way longer than I had been designing. I felt confident in my designs so once I was up there it was a breeze. In the end, I came up short but took a lot away from the experience. I learned skills that I need to develop in order to create designs that will blow people away. I met people and made connections that will be very valuable in the future. So in the end, I guess I didn’t come up short. I still came out thinking that it was all a dream.
Read more about the 2010 Future Sole Design Competition.