The Sneaker Essentials Program Will Guide You to a Career in Footwear

In an effort to inspire the next generation of creatives who will lead the $55 billion global sneaker industry to continued greatness, Complex is partnering with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) for a unique education experience, which Kick'n It for a Cause founder Chris “COSeezy” Strachan announced during a sit down with Steph Curry.

Sneaker Essentials is an online education program exploring every possible aspect of the industry, from design to advertising to retail. The Qubed Education-developed program consists of six courses totaling 30 hours. Complex personalities, FIT staffers, and other proven industry veterans (i.e. Nike and Adidas contributors) will lead the learning process.


“Complex has always been at the forefront of sneaker culture, and we also pride ourselves on being inclusive and opening doors for creative people,” Jack Erwin, Complex's GM of Content, explained. “Sneaker Essentials provides a chance for passionate learners to hear directly from true leaders in the sneaker media industry, including Joe La Puma, Gerald Flores, and Richard Lopez.” Other instructors will include Nice Kicks creative director Nick DePaula, Stephen Curry 30 Inc. Chief Marketing Officer Jeron Smith, Nike's Erin Toraya, and more.

Sarah Mullins, chair of FIT's Accessories Design program, added that Sneaker Essentials was built to “translate that passion for sneakers into real-world knowledge and skills that open doors to meaningful career pathways.” Once a student wraps the program—which is a part of FIT's Center for Continuing and Professional Studies—​they will be awarded a certificate of completion.


​The inaugural group of Sneaker Essentials students will be admitted in April. In partnership with nonprofit Kick'n It for a Cause, Qubed will be handing out scholarships to select students in disadvantaged situations. More info can be found here.

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Stephen Curry Explains Why He Has the Best Sneaker in the NBA

Since signing with Under Armour back in late 2013, Steph Curry has released a number of signature sneakers. Some have been well received by the public. Others, well, not so much.

But when Complex News caught up with Curry ahead of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, he said that it’s all been a part of the learning process to him. While he’s been aiming to create the perfect sneaker since designing his very first pair with Under Armour, he was also quick to point out that he should have known better since it’s difficult to nail down the design process right away.

“You learn as you go through this industry, the shoe business,” Curry said. “That’s the biggest thing for me. You want to get it right right away, and you want to have the best sneaker in the game your first shot at it. But I think we’ve gotten better at it as every edition has come out.”

Curry also said he likes the direction he’s headed in as far as his sneaker line is concerned. Without giving away too many details, he said he’s already seen his next two signature sneakers up close and thinks he can capitalize on the momentum he’s built with Under Armour thus far by releasing them.

“I’ve seen Curry 5 and Curry 6, so I know where the product’s going from here. Big things,” Curry said. “We’re in a good space right now with how we’ve brought the design process and bringing these kicks to life. The Curry 4 was a step in the right direction. I feel like it’s the best shoe in the game, so I’m trying to keep that going.”

Chris “COSeezy” Strachan was also on hand to talk about Sneaker Essentials, a new online program offered through a partnership between Fashion Institute of Technology and Complex.

You can check out the full interview above.

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