The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), in partnership with global lifestyle brand Complex, today announced the launch of Sneaker Essentials, a first-of-its-kind online program developed by Qubed Education and designed to introduce the next generation of leaders to career paths within the $55 billion global sneaker industry. The program explores all aspects of the industry—including design, manufacturing, marketing, merchandising, media, and retail to help students and young professionals connect their passion for sneakers to educational experiences and career opportunities.
"The sneaker industry today is booming on a global scale, with the market driven by millennial demand," said Sarah Mullins, chair of the Accessories Design program at FIT. "This program is designed to translate that passion for sneakers into real-world knowledge and skills that open doors to meaningful career pathways, and FIT's outstanding Accessories Design program is extremely well positioned to lead the next generation into the industry."
The fully online program was developed by Qubed Education, a New York-based edtech startup that partners with top universities and major brands like Columbia University and Conde Nast to create career discovery courses linked to fast-growing industries, including fashion, beauty, and sports.
"Complex has always been at the forefront of sneaker culture, and we also pride ourselves on being inclusive and opening doors for creative people," said Jack Erwin, General Manager of Content for Complex. "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."
"Our mission is to provide fun, engaging opportunities for the next generation of talent to explore career paths that are aligned to their passions in growing industries," said Rob Kingyens, president and CEO of Qubed Education. "Students enrolled in the program will not only have the opportunity to learn from leading academics and industry experts from top sneaker brands, they'll also walk away with a certificate from a globally-recognized college."
Qubed has also partnered with Kick 'N It for a Cause, a social impact nonprofit, to provide Scholarships to select students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Kick 'N It for a Cause works with NBA stars and other influencers to unite sneaker enthusiasts around community service, providing sneakers for people in need, and advancing art and music programs in K-12 schools.
This is the second online program FIT has developed with Qubed Education. For young professionals interested in beauty, FIT also offers Beauty Industry Essentials, designed by faculty in the school's Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing program, in partnership with Allure. The program focuses on six key professional areas in the beauty industry, and courses are taught by FIT faculty members, along with top editors at Allure, industry leaders, and professionals at MAC Cosmetics, Shiseido Group USA, and Givaudan, among others.
Beginning today, visitors to sneakers.fitnyc.edu can sign up for an exclusive preview of the program. The first group of students will be admitted to Sneaker Essentials in April.