Carmelo Anthony and Future Sole 2010 winner Allen Largin

Carmelo Anthony and Future Sole 2010 winner Allen Largin

words_Jordan Hagedorn

A couple months ago in Denver, I had the chance to chat with Melo about Eastbay and being a Sneakerhead. While I was out there, I was able to watch the 2010 Future Sole Melo M7 category winner Allen Largin present his design to Carmelo. Allen’s hard work paid off as he explained the inspiration, sketches, materials and final design to an impressed Melo. Melo told Allen, “I like it. I like it a lot, man. I can tell that you put a lot of thought, a lot of my inspiration into the shoe.”

After the presentation, Melo gave Allen a unique autographed wooden Future Sole plaque for him to remember his trip by. That wasn’t the only thing D’Wayne and Melo had in store for the 16-year-old from Michigan. D’Wayne pulled out a duffle bag that had three 3-D Z-core models of the redesigned Future Sole version of the M7. The three colorways were Black/Red, Blue/Red/White (paying homage to Melo’s Puerto Rican heritage) and Orange (linking back to Melo’s college, Syracuse). The revamped Jordan Melo M7 Future Sole (which can be seen in the video) features Flywire and a big Jumpman on the side.

Along with seeing Allen’s presentation, I also talked to Melo briefly about how the Future Sole Design Competition came about and his on-going involvement. When discussing the nationwide competition he said, “[Designing shoes] is something I enjoy doing. [Future Sole is] giving high school and college kids the opportunity to design shoes who may never have the opportunity ever again, so that’s how the program started.”

Carmelo Anthony and Future Sole 2010 winner Allen Largin

2010 Future Sole Melo Winner Allen Largin

2010 Future Sole Design Competition Melo M7 High School Grand Prize Winner.

words_Allen Largin

My Future Sole experience was, and still is, life-changing. I say that because winning has opened so many doors and inspired me to continue footwear design.

When I entered my original design at the beginning of the contest, I was confident, but wasn’t getting my hopes up. I thought I had a good chance, but never thought that I would end up getting the most votes for my category. I was actually at Notre Dame University on a church retreat when OSD (Obsessive Sneaker Disorder) announced the finalists for each category, so I was back and forth on the phone with my dad and best friend up until the moment the results were announced. I was shocked and couldn’t believe that I was actually going to be a finalist in the competition and the opportunity that was in front of me.

Melo with Future Sole Winner Allen Largin

Melo with Future Sole Winner Allen Largin

Being a finalist wasn’t the end of the competition; Scott Zenteno (my competitor and other finalist) and I had to design an All-Star shoe for Carmelo Anthony using the M7 tooling. So, basically, we were given the sole of the Jordan Melo M7 and had to design the upper in about 30 days. Before the contest I was oblivious to the design side of the footwear industry. I didn’t know that designing a shoe was an 18-month process from start to finish. My design mentor, Denis Dekovic, showed me that there were four steps to follow when designing a shoe: research, story boards, sketching, and the final rendering.

I was very excited to present to Nike and Jordan executives, but before that, I got to experience the Nike campus – a.k.a Heaven. Getting to see where everything is thought up and where all the great minds of the industry are was incredible. Also, getting to talk to Jason Petrie, Justin Taylor, Wilson Smith III, D’Wayne Edwards, Leo Chang and finally getting to meet my mentor, Denis Dekovic, was quite the experience, because of all the knowledge they gave me in such a short time. Getting to meet to the rest of the finalists was awesome too, because I got to share the experience with people who share the same passion for sneakers.

The night before the presentation, I couldn’t sleep; I was just thinking about how life-changing the next day would be. Then came the day of my presentation. I just couldn’t wait to hold the 3D model of my shoe and tell everyone about it. Just before the presentation, I saw some of the biggest names in the shoe industry walk in and I couldn’t believe that they were going to be the judges. I did my presentation and felt confident, because at that point I had done all I could do. When my name was announced as the Jordan Brand high school winner, I was speechless. I can’t even describe the feelings that ran through me. The fact that Carmelo Anthony might wear my shoe was incredible, not to mention all the doors winning the competition would open.

On November 9, Melo flew me and my parents out to Denver for four days so I could present my Future Sole design to him. On November 10, I met Melo at the Nuggets’ practice facility. I wasn’t as nervous as you’d think because Melo was a laid-back guy and was really interested in my design. Melo loved the Flywire design that represented him as a rising sun. It put a big smile on his face and you could tell he really appreciated it. Overall, Melo really liked the shoe and the story behind it.

D’Wayne and Melo had a little trick up their sleeve when they pulled a new version of my shoe out of a duffle bag. It was Melo’s take on my design. There were different colorways: a Puerto Rico, a Syracuse, and a classic red and black. Even though there are still changes to be made to the shoe, I can see the direction the shoe was going.

The next night, I got to watch Melo in action against the Lakers, who were undefeated. Melo filled up the stat sheet with a double-double: 32 points and 13 boards, while handing Kobe and the Lakers their first loss of the season.

I still can’t believe that Carmelo Anthony will be wearing my shoe. This isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning of bigger and better things.

Read more about the 2010 Future Sole Design Competition.

Carmelo Anthony and Future Sole 2010 winner Allen Largin

And The 2010 Future Sole Winners Are…

words & images_Nick DePaula

For the third year in a row, the Nike Future Sole Design Competition has grown exponentially, as each year the depth of talent and the sheer amount of participants continually rises. In just a year, the total number of participants nearly doubled, going from 12,500 last year to 22,000 entries this year. Last night marked the 2010 Future Sole Finals for both the collegiate and high school categories, and both Eastbay and Sole Collector were on hand to guest judge each final presentation up close and in person.

With the eight immensely skilled finalists presenting their concept, inspiration and backstory in a 10-minute window inside the Stanford Auditorium at the Nike World Headquarters, only four could be crowned winners, and we’re happy to officially announce this year’s 2010 Future Sole Grand Prize Winners and share their winning designs.

Stay tuned for a full recap of each finalist’s detailed final presentation, first-person experiences from the winners, as well as exclusive shots of both their storyboards and Z-Corp 3D samples.

Nike N7 College Grand Prize Winner – Neil Zemba [with mentor Wilson Smith III]

Jordan College Grand Prize Winner – Christopher Dixon

Jordan High School Grand Prize Winner – Allen Largin

Nike SB High School Grand Prize Winner – Josh Mann

Carmelo Anthony and Future Sole 2010 winner Allen Largin

2010 Future Sole High School Finalists Announced

words_Nick DePaula

The Future Sole Design Competition also recently announced the High School Consumer’s Choice Voting results, and have crowned Josh Mann and Nick Daiber as finalists in the High School Nike SB category, and Allen Largin and Scott Zenteno as finalists of the High School Jordan category.

With an increasing amount of entries for both categories, the Future Sole Design Competition, now in its third year, continues to see an influx of talent applying for the chance to design a shoe that may potentially be worn by NBA players such as Carmelo Anthony. Along with the opportunity to win prizes ranging from an iPod to a Wacom tablet and computer software design programs, the finalists will also be given a chance to present a final rendering to a panel of Nike executives with the hopes of being named the Future Sole Grand Finals Winner on August 30th.

High School Nike SB — Josh Mann

High School Nike SB — Nick Daiber

High School Jordan — Allen Largin

High School Jordan — Scott Zenteno