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A Force for Good: PCA&D Students Design Custom TOMS Shoes

August 8, 2013

Graphic design majors Socheata Chhun '15 and Ashley Vincent Hill '14, and illustration major Gabrielle Hammaker '15 became part of "a force for good" this summer. Socheata, Ashley and Gabrielle worked for three days at a TOMS "Style Your Sole" event during the annual Firefly Music Festival, held this past June in Delaware. They designed, drew and painted custom images on 50-60 pairs of shoes over three days. View this video about the shoe-designing event.

Potential customers spoke with the artists in the TOMS tent so they could provide input about what they wanted on their custom-designed shoes. Socheata and Ashley reported that they and Gabrielle -- as well as PCA&D graphic design alumnus Adam Schweitzer '12 and the other artists working in the TOMS event -- had customers who waited hours in line just so they could get a unique pair of "kicks."
 
"When people didn't know what they wanted [as their shoe design], we simply asked them questions about their life, what they enjoyed, or what they did for a living," writes Ashley of her experience at the event. "This guided our designs to be tailored uniquely for them. I was asked to replicate album artwork, such as 'Foster the People's' and the 'Misfits.' A lot of people asked Adam to draw the Little Mermaid...Adam and I tag teamed [on some] designs. I would do one shoe and he would do the other. People loved it!" Shoes designed in the TOMS tent during the music festival were part of the company's "one for one movement" in which each purchase triggers a donation by TOMS of a pair of shoes to a child in need.

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