Los Angeles-based designer and Study Footwear founder Chris Stamp would never have founded his own shoe company or even pursued the arts without the support of his parents.
“My mom was a designer, … and she and my dad started a luggage company, so I was always around drawing and painting,” Stamp said.
Stamp founded Study Footwear a year ago to create a line that would appeal to a younger demographic, he said. Stamp has used the company to launch his community service ambitions as well as to sell shoes. Study’s mission is to promote creativity in young adults, something he said he hopes to do at UCLA.
Organized by Stamp’s company and the Cultural Affairs Commission, the design contest is an opportunity for UCLA students to design an individual shoe pattern.
Students can pick up design templates from the Kerckhoff Art Gallery and turn them in to the Cultural Affairs Commission office through Jan. 28.
Submissions will be judged by Stamp and his design team based on the detail and overall aesthetic of the shoe.
The winning design will be put into production for the Holiday 2011 Study Collection as the UCLA Study Shoe and the designer will have the chance to win a three-month internship at Study Footwear. The internship, which will focus on shoe design, will be with the company’s design team.
Stamp said he sees the contest as a creative outlet for students who may not otherwise have that opportunity because of their major or a lack of support to study art.
The design contest is just one way in which the company works to promote creativity in young adults ““ it also works with Inner-City Arts, an organization that encourages arts involvement in young children.
“They’re one of those fashionable brands that has a purpose,” said Kelsey Mitchell, the Cultural Affairs Commission Art Series director. “Their purpose happens to be right in line with the art series mission statement, which is to encourage creativity and education among UCLA students.”
The Cultural Affairs Commission and Study Footwear launched the design contest with “A Night of Creativity Fueled by Shoe Design” in the Kerckhoff Grand Salon and Art Gallery on Thursday. In attendance were underground art gallery HVW8, photographers and musical groups Rob Roy and Computer Jay. The point of the launch party was to encourage UCLA students to be creative in all art forms, Stamp said.
Jacob Patterson, a fourth-year art history student and custom shoe designer, was among the attendees.
“I’ve always loved shoes and I’ve always loved art, so I just wanted to combine the two,” Patterson said.
Patterson created a YouTube tutorial for creating custom shoes that was featured on the YouTube home page. He said shoe design is one of the ways he expresses himself artistically.
“I’m an artist whose primary medium is shoes,” Patterson said, “I feel like it’s one of the more true forms of street art, if not the truest.”
Like Stamp, Patterson was able to take art and turn it into a career.
“I just found something I was passionate about and love to do every day, and I got to turn it into a business,” Stamp said.
“With (my family) background, I realized a lot of people don’t have that sort of support system. The (design contest) is something to inspire those kids and get them excited about something.”