Fashion Accessories Design Senior Wins Adidas Speedfactory x Foot Locker Challenge

The winning AM4DET shoe.
Kayla Donaldson, a senior in Fashion Accessories Design — and a member of the department’s first graduating class — has won the Adidas Speedfactory x Foot Locker Design Challenge. Her winning colorway AM4DET shoe was unveiled at an event on January 31 at the new Foot Locker Community Store on Eight Mile Road in Eastpointe.

Donaldson entered the competition last fall after FAD Chair Aki Choklat brought it to her attention. “I didn’t know what to bring. I thought they were going to provide materials,” Donaldson recalled, laughing. “So, I had a sharpie and some Post-It™ notes, and I went for it.” Her ability to “make it work,” paid off. The monochromatic AM4DET colorway is graphically arresting and includes key words and phrases like “growth,” “spirit,” “family” and “just be about it” that not only express the native Detroiter’s love for her city but also what makes the city special to the people who live here. The Detroit-area Footlocker will sell the new kicks, with proceeds going to charity.

The new location is part of Foot Locker’s new “power store” model, emphasizing brand connections with the community the store serves. It opened officially in late January and features custom art from Detroit artist Desirée Kelly. The store will host a series of community-based events, including panel discussions, talent shows and appearances by Detroit notables.

“Detroit’s hustle has been so influential to me. I’m so excited to see them [Foot Locker and Adidas] reinvesting in the community and supporting people that live in Detroit,” Donaldson said.

With graduation on the horizon, Donaldson is considering her professional direction for life after college. “I’m still trying to figure it out,” she explained, “but if there’s a bag in production, for example, I want to be a part of the whole design process, the patterning and determining the colors. I always want to have a hand in all of it. I find that really fulfilling, as opposed to performing one role.”

Donaldson will soon get her chance to explore life beyond CCS, but she emphasizes that her experience at the College has been invaluable. “I’ve grown exponentially in my time at CCS — I’m a totally different person than I was when I came here. I’ve been exposed to so many different opportunities and mindsets and philosophies and ways of thinking, as well as a great group of people. We’ve really grown together and experienced new things together. Getting to know yourself is great in general, but it’s been a particularly big part of my CCS experience.”