September 16, 2020


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Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today a collaboration between the City of Newark and Dirty Soles Footwear Group, Studio Sole, and Aglet, to launch the “#ShowYourSole Sneaker Contest” for residents aged 14-25. Contestants will submit sneaker designs electronically or by hand, and the winner will receive a $500 gift card and scholarship to attend an eight-week course on shoe design, hosted by Studio Sole.

Contestants can enter the competition, by going to the website at, using one of the Aglet templates provided there, or create their own original design, by hand-sketching or making a digital design on their own computer. Deadline for submissions is Thursday, October 1, and the winner will be announced the following week, Thursday, October 8.

“Newark is filled with creative and talented young people, and this competition will give them an opportunity to learn and develop their design skills in a new field,” Mayor Baraka said. “Every resident who participates in this competition will expand their creative horizons and abilities, and will all emerge as winners, creating a new generation of fashion designers, all ‘made in Newark.’”

To submit a design for consideration, contestants can bring their finished design to Studio Sole located at: 140 Sussex Avenue, Suite #108, Newark, NJ 07103 (entrance on Newark Street) or e-mail the design to provide to: Contestants must include their name, age, address, Phone number and school currently being attended if applicable.

“We are proud to be able to say that Studio Sole is the first, black-owned sneaker consignment shop and footwear academy. In partnership with the City of Newark, Aglet and Studio Sole’s parent company, Dirty Soles Footwear Group, we are excited about the launch of the #ShowYourSole sneaker contest. I’ll be collecting the designs that come into Studio Sole and I have no doubt, the bricks is going to bring some heat,” said RaShaad Strong, Director of Retail, Studio Sole.

In addition to the gift card and the scholarship offering, the winning design will be digitized and included in the Aglet gaming app.

“I am hopeful that the contest will serve as a catalyst to encourage not only creativity but also spark interest from Newark’s youth and young adults to pursue a professional career in the sneaker making industry. After all, they are the trendsetters and our job is to teach them how to capitalize on their own influence rather than allowing others to misappropriate the culture. That’s the real goal behind our ‘Art of Shoe Making’ courses,” said T. Strong, the Co-Owner/Founder and CEO of Dirty Soles Footwear Group and Studio Sole.

“I was born and raised in Newark so I’ve witnessed the untapped creative potential of our city’s residents that has gone unrecognized for far too long. My wife and I moved back to the city a few years ago specifically to engrain ourselves, as well as our family, within the community and get our ‘soles dirty’ doing the work we’re purposed to do; encourage, support, teach and inspire,” said Cory Strong, Co-Owner/Founder and CFO.


Dirty Soles Footwear Group

The Dirty Soles team consists of a conglomerate of business professionals proficient in footwear manufacturing, sales, marketing, business development, social media & influencer marketing as well as shoe design. Collectively we have established and continue to perfect what we call “the incub8tor.” This unique space is dedicated to identifying and supporting local entrepreneurs, designers, artists, culinary specialists and writers. The “Studio Sole” retail location in Newark was born from the incub8tor initiative and is the first black-owned sneaker consignment shop in the city. Studio Sole also dually functions as an exclusive footwear academy where students learn the inner workings of the sneaker industry in an effort to introduce them to new career opportunities. Dirty Soles Footwear Group

Studio Sole

The first black-owned sneaker consignment shop and footwear academy is proud to offer the highest quality, most unique sneakers, accessories, artwork designed by Newark creatives and sneaker related services on the market today. Including continued education courses for the footwear trade within the tri-state area. From our family to yours, we put love and careful attention in each service we provide. Additional information: Studio Sole


Aglet is a new sneaker app designed by a team including Adidas’ former director of future trends, Ryan Mullins, and illustrator Dan Freebairn (Kickposters). The app aims to solve sneakerheads' frustrations of not being able to buy limited and grail-level sneakers by giving them a chance to do so digitally. Additional information: Aglet