2010 Future Sole Design Competition Jordan Team College Grand Prize Winner.

words_Chris Dixon

Future Sole 2010 Chris Dixon

Chris Dixon

My journey to the Future Sole finals began in the 7th grade at Anne Chesnutt Middle School, Fayetteville, NC, in Mrs. Washburn’s music class. I was a fan of both sneakers and basketball and my mom had bought me only two pairs of sneakers for the year. Like your average 13-year-old basketball player, I wanted more. In music class, I began sketching my friends’ shoes, since they switched up often, but I would put my twist on the sneaker sketch. I continued to sketch and draw kicks, but basketball was my first love. However, the love affair that lasted through high school and D2 ball soon grew old and I found a new love: art and design. I changed my major from business and took on a focus in graphic design. After sacrificing much time, hard work and prayers, I received a message on sneakernews.com saying the Future Sole design competition increased the age limit to 25. In my heart I knew I had to do something. This was my chance to show people my passion! With much oblige to all the people who voted for my Air Jordan 2k11 concept…I am able to humbly tell you all about my Future Sole experience.

Finding out I was finalist in the Future Sole competition was the most exciting news of my life. I dropped to my knees with tears of joy and my hands raised high! I was going to the headquarters to present in front of some of my design heroes!

After a long flight, I made it to Portland, where I started to meet the finalists one by one. We hung out for a while, then went to dinner with D’Wayne Edwards. There we met with designer Wilson Smith III and Sean Williams of Obsessive Sneaker Disorder. They spoke to us about the experience and importance of Future Sole and what we should take from it. After the great meal and good laughs we took it back to our hotel room to chill.

Arriving at the Nike World Headquarters campus the next day was like seeing my dreams becoming a reality very fast! D’Wayne and Wilson met us in the front to start the tour. Since it was Sunday, some of the buildings were closed, but that was fine because just the sight of the architecture was amazing.

We reached the Jordan Building. I was hoping the pearly gates would open and they did! We walked in and bam! I saw all 25 Air Jordans in glass cases. “WOW” is what I said in my head while Sean held me up. I was in there! We then took the elevator up. We made a quick tour through the office where I saw some top secret projects. I didn’t want to leave. In the Michael Jordan Building, we had a short celebration for the viewer’s choice.

The next day, we went back to campus for a detailed tour. I slid off with my mentor Ben, who took me to the different areas in the Mia Hamm building where I met a bunch of cool designers. The highlight of my tour was when Ben took me to meet Eric Avar. I had never been starstruck until that day! This is the guy who makes me scrap up bucks for the freshest Nikes! He blessed me with some encouraging words, tips and most of all, his time. I took a peek at what he was sketching and it looked to be the Kobe’s of the future. Just talking to Avar made me feel like I just won the competition! I met up the rest of the crew and we made our way to the Tiger Woods building, which is where the presentations were taking place.  No time to get nervous; it was show time! I glanced at my design board and I was blown away! My shoe was touchable!

Everyone gathered and, after we all drooled over our models, we took our seats. The host, Julian Duncan, was very enthused about the event! I presented with confidence and I was excited to let the audience know about my shoe. I was so jittery when I sat down, but after I presented, I felt good. When Julian announced that I was the grand prize winner of the Jordan college category, I turned to Ben and smiled BIG. I almost fainted when I gave my acceptance speech. Then came the cameras, and business cards came from everywhere. I loved it. I had never been #1 in a national competition. I guess it was my time.

Chris Dixon's final board

My Future Sole experience was the best experience of my life…..TO BE CONTINUED!!!!!!!

Read more about the 2010 Future Sole Design Competition.