One School Partners With Clarks Originals Footwear for Student Design Challenge

By Kyle O'Brien 

Clarks Originals is partnering with One School on a student design challenge that will see the winning shoe design go into production.

One School, the free portfolio school for Black creatives developed by The One Club for Creativity, is joining forces with the shoemaker to provide students with a one-of-a-kind design opportunity as part of their enrollment in the portfolio program. Clarks Originals is offering the group of 60 graduates from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta a chance to step into the world of fashion footwear with a call for new designs of the classic Wallabee Boot.

“We are thrilled to partner with One School and to connect with the incredibly talented students in their program. The creativity of the group is palpable and we cannot wait to see their perspectives on the iconic Clarks style,” Tara McRae, Clarks’ CMO, said in a statement.


A team of Clarks Originals shoe designers will review the design submissions and select one winner from the group based on creativity, relevancy and production potential. The winning design will then be produced and sold worldwide, with a contribution from the proceeds going to the student to help further their education and career. In addition, Clarks has sponsored two student spaces to attend One School’s upcoming Spring 2022 semester.

“One School is designed to produce creatives who can understand, channel and impact culture in new and exciting ways,” Oriel Davis-Lyons, creative director at Spotify who oversees the program, said in a statement. “Clarks Originals has done that for decades, so pairing such an iconic brand with our curriculum gives our students the opportunity to create portfolios that show the full spectrum of their talents and culture.”

The current design challenge has been so popular with graduates that One School and Clarks have decided to offer a similar challenge for the Spring 2022 semester, where prospective students will be asked to design a Clarks style and marketing plan.

“Clarks Originals has provided an amazing opportunity for a One School student to design a real product—and it’s a testimony to the creative calibre of those who have gone through the program,” Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club, said in a statement. “We’re extremely proud of our graduates—65% of whom are women—and very grateful to Clarks Originals for offering this rare product collaboration.”

Applications for the Spring 2022 semester of ONE School are being accepted now.