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Parsons students win online footwear design contest
May '12
An expert fashion panel, including Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons The New School for Design; Nick Sullivan, Fashion Director of Esquire; and Allen Edmonds President & CEO, Paul Grangaard selected the Seventh Avenue and Kings Point by Parsons students Patrick McCabe and Melanie Berger for inclusion in the company's upcoming collection.

McCabe and Berger's designs survived a three-step review process: from original concept, to 3-dimensional CAD designs, to a prototype ready for public voting. Both designs were favorites among the over 120,000 online voters, and the expert judges panel was so torn they decided it only made sense to honor both students as winners.

"We believe the Seventh Avenue and Kings Point are going to generate a lot of excitement among young men in their twenties and thirties," said Paul Grangaard. "We find it remarkable how millennials continually re-invent what classic American style means to them." Grangaard noted that millennials are shedding their sneakers for shoes with classic styling – many with updated colors and a range of textures.

"This design competition has been an incredible experience for our entire student body," said Simon Collins. "What started out as a compelling idea last semester, turned into a rich, hands-on, design mentoring program. This competition provided our students with real-world business experience, teaching them how to take a design concept from idea to market."

"Colin Hall, our EVP of Marketing, came up with this great student design competition concept, inspired by our desire to celebrate Allen Edmonds' 90 years of American shoe manufacturing," said Grangaard. "We wanted to tap the creativity and talent of students from America's top design school, who we felt could give us a fresh perspective on classic American styling. We also felt it was essential to bring the students to Wisconsin to work directly with our design team, including time on the factory floor."

Inspired by the classic blue jean, McCabe's design combines the silhouette and detailing of Allen Edmonds Park Avenue with American-made selvedge denim from Cone Denim Mills – the last remaining U.S.-based selvedge denim maker.

Honoring New York's Fashion Avenue and the home of the School of Fashion at Parsons The New School for Design, the Seventh Avenue features un-rinsed, indigo-dyed, selvedge denim that will achieve a unique patina with wearing. Exposed selvedge highlights the traditional cap toe and the center back seam of the heel – for a fresh interpretation of classic American style.

The Kings Point is a nod to the long-time Allen Edmonds customer. Even while the modern gentleman moves forward, classic styling and heritage should never be forgotten. Berger's inspiration came from World War II American soldiers who wore Allen Edmonds boots to both battle and R&R. She combines that tradition with a modern aesthetic for an updated, sleek military boot.

Founded in 1922, Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation is a privately-held, U.S.-based manufacturer of premium men's footwear and accessories.

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.

Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation

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