Allen Edmonds, The Great American Shoe Company, Announces a Student Design Competition in Partnership with Parsons The New School For Design

The company challenges America's top design students to reinterpret the classic American men's shoe

Feb 17, 2012, 06:00 ET from Allen Edmonds

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis., Feb. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of its 90th Anniversary, Allen Edmonds, the U.S.-based manufacturer of premium men's footwear and accessories, announces the launch of an innovative student design competition with one of America's top design schools, Parsons The New School for Design – the first men's shoe competition for the school.  The winning design will be produced and sold in the upcoming Allen Edmonds Collection.

"We're always working to push the design boundaries at Allen Edmonds," said Paul Grangaard, President and CEO of Allen Edmonds. "Parsons is an absolutely premier American design school, and we believe the creativity of Parsons' student designers will give us a fresh perspective on classic American styling."

The design competition began with many strong submissions from Parsons Fashion Design students.  From there, six semi-finalists were chosen and afforded the opportunity to spend two days at the Port Washington factory working with the Allen Edmonds design team to transform their sketches into 3-dimensional CAD designs ready for public voting. [Vote at:

Students were challenged to reinterpret the classic American men's shoe with unique textures, on-trend colors and thoughtful attention to detail, while staying true to the Allen Edmonds origins of classic menswear.

"We believe very strongly in local manufacturing and preserving artisanal skills," said Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons The New School for Design. "And Allen Edmonds embodies all of those things. They make exquisite shoes. They make many of them by hand. And most importantly, they are a terrific American manufacturer."

Allen Edmonds builds upon the Parsons' expanding accessory design track in its Fashion School, that includes millinery, shoe and handbag design. This track responds to the increasing demand in the fashion industry—and among Parsons students—for skilled accessory designers. In addition to Allen Edmonds, Parsons has partnered with a range of leading accessory design companies, including Giuseppe Zanotti, Henri Bendel and Coach.

The top three finalists will have the opportunity to work the factory floor in Port Washington and bring their designs to life.  Allen Edmonds leather cutters, master sewers and burnishers will show the students the ropes as they develop their drawings into shoe prototypes for the final voting stage of the competition. On March 26, the top three finalists will be revealed.  The winning design will be chosen based on public voting, as well as the input of an expert judging panel and included in the upcoming Allen Edmonds Collection.

For more information, and to vote for your favorite design, please visit:

About Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation

Founded in 1922, Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation is a privately-held, U.S.-based manufacturer of premium men's footwear and accessories. Taking shoemaking to the level of an art form, Allen Edmonds footwear is handcrafted in Port Washington, Wis., using a 212-step production process. Allen Edmonds products are available at upscale stores worldwide, including 38 Allen Edmonds stores across the United States, and online at

About Parsons The New School for Design

Parsons The New School for Design is a global leader in design education, with programs that span the disciplines of design and the fine arts. With the launch of the first fashion design program in America in 1906, Parsons is credited with the rise of Seventh Avenue, the epicenter of American fashion. Parsons has educated generations of leading American fashion designers, including Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Isaac Mizrahi, Tracy Reese, Narciso Rodriguez and Anna Sui; and rising talents Cushnie et Ochs, Prabal Gurung, Derek Lam, Ohne Titel, Thakoon Panichgul, Proenza Schouler, Vena Cava, Alexander Wang, and Jason Wu. For more information, visit

SOURCE Allen Edmonds