Ridley High School competing in $50,000 Vans shoe design contest

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Ridley High competing in $50,000 shoe design contest. Katherine Scott reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on May 8, 2017. (WPVI)

A Delaware County school is one of 50 finalists in a nationwide contest to design a new pair of Vans shoes.

The students attend Ridley High School in Folsom.

Teacher Jennifer Hermann saw an ad for the contest at a Vans store and decided to enter.

After receiving blank shoes in the mail, her graphic design class created the concepts. They selected four student artists to paint them.

"I think it's an amazing way to showcase how important art and design is in our high school curriculum, and it's a great way to present students with an opportunity to showcase their creativity," she said.

The challenge was to take four blank pairs of Vans shoes and create designs around an assigned theme: individual action sports, music, art and local flavor.

"Our favorite design part of the shoe would be the Philly pretzel," said 11th grader Kenichi Walsh of their local flavor shoes.

They are packed with all things Philly, from the skyline to the Love statue.

But they also had to consider the West Coast brand that gained popularity with skateboarders.

"We didn't want to use any dark colors. We wanted to make it bright and airy and try to represent Vans well," said 12th grader Erika Iovacchine

In a nod to the many murals around the city, one of their art shoes depicts a can of spray paint, adorning its partner with 'Off the Wall,' a Vans slogan.

Guitars top the toes of their music shoe.

They featured skateboarding and surfing for action sports.

"We picked images, put them on the picture of the shoe, and played around with what would look best," said 11th grader Jennifer Ropski.

Out of 3,000 schools nationwide, Ridley High is the only Pennsylvania school remaining in the contest.

They need votes to win the region, which comes with a $4,000 prize and an all-inclusive trip for the top five teams to Los Angeles.

The finalists compete for a $50,000 dollar prize for their school arts program.

"In a design lab like this, it would mean a new pair of iPad Pro drawing tablets, a poster printer, all kinds of technology we can use to update this lab," said Herrmann.
You can vote for Ridley at Vans.com

Voting ends on Wednesday.

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