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Now in Its Second Year, the Five-Week Program will Look at Diversity Holistically, Equally Delving into Company Culture, Design Skills, and Ethnic Background



DETROIT, MI – Nov. 7, 2022 – Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design, in partnership with VF Corporation brands Dickies, The North Face, Timberland, SmartWool, and Vans, today announced DiverCity x Design, an Industry Certified Masterclass now in its second year that focuses on diversity through a holistic lens that includes company culture and design skills in addition to ethnic background.

“The idea behind this new program is to give aspiring designers of the future a better-informed perspective in the way they think, learn and create in our industry,” PLC President and founder Dr. D’Wayne Edwards said. “This Industry Certified Masterclass will present VF Corporation as one expansive offering of diverse cultural experiences, creative outlets, and opportunities for the future of our industry.”

At VF, they blur the line between a career and a calling, encouraging creatives to do what they love without limits. PLC bridges the gap between community and education – changing the scope of what the industry looks like. In fact, 2021 Industry Certified Masterclass students who became VF apprentices are now footwear designers at Timberland and Vans.

Registration is open now through Dec. 4 at, after which 16 students will be accepted for the five-week online program, which runs from Jan. 9 – Feb. 10. The class culminates in a paid apprenticeship with VF.

Students will work in teams of apparel designers and color and material designers; each team will work on a project for one of the five VF brands: SmartWool, Dickies, Timberland, The North Face, and Vans.

Developed to resemble an apprenticeship more than a traditional class, aspiring designers will receive weekly instruction, but they will work more like a design studio, enabling them to experience what it is like working at a brand while developing time management, professionalism, and leadership skills.


About VF Corporation 

Founded in 1899, VF Corporation is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies connecting people to the lifestyles, activities and experiences they cherish most through a family of iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland® and Dickies®. Our purpose is to power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet. We connect this purpose with a relentless drive to succeed to create value for all stakeholders and use our company as a force for good. For more information, please visit


About Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design (PLC)

The Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design is the name chosen to be used by the Lewis College of Business, the first and only HBCU in the State of Michigan.

The Lewis College of Business was originally founded by Dr. Violet T. Lewis. Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, founder of the Pensole Design Academy in Oregon, is working to reinstate the Lewis College of Business in Detroit. Pensole Lewis College, in collaboration with the College for Creative Studies (CCS), will offer programs across design, sustainability, business, STEM, and more, serving young Black creatives across industries. The Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design founding partners are Target and the Gilbert Family Foundation. For more information please visit