The FIRST JEM

$199.96
Available exclusively at DSW

JEMS by PENSOLE’s inaugural shoe was handcrafted at JEMS in New Hampshire, the first Black-owned athletic footwear factory in the US. The design is a tribute to JEMS namesake, Jan Ernst Matzeliger, a Black Dutch immigrant who in 1883 patented a lasting machine technology still used in footwear manufacturing today. Designed by JEMS founder, the legendary Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, the fine detail on the premium leather sneaker is an homage to Jan’s life.  

FEATURES:
  • Handcrafted in the USA
  • Premium leather upper
  • Tonal screen-printed wording honors Jan’s life
  • Technical drawing of Matzeliger’s invention is featured on the sockliner
  • Red, white, and blue represent flags of both the US and Suriname of the 1800s, Jan’s country of origin
  • Lace-locking crosshatch eyelets 
  • Red and blue ombre laces are tipped with copper aglets  
  • Leather tab on the tongue of the left shoe identifies the series; leather tab on the right identifies the size
  • Leather tab on the heel of the right shoe indicates where the pair was handcrafted; leather tab on the heel of the left shoe denotes the shoe’s designer
  • Designed by Dr. D’Wayne Edwards

Meet the Designer

D'Wayne Edwards
Founder of Pensole Lewis College and JEMS by PENSOLE

With no formal education, Dr. D’Wayne Edwards has been designing sneakers for over 30 years for some of the world’s largest brands.  All the while, Dr. Edwards felt a calling to make his mark on the footwear industry not just in the sneakers he designs, but in helping to create greater opportunity for future industry gems.  With Pensole Lewis College Dr. Edwards has reimagined and reinvented the education system, providing a unique educational experience; teaching students skills to thrive in the product creation industry.  He founded JEMS, the first Black-owned athletic footwear factory in the US, in 2022 with the vision to empower the next generation of creatives by offering greater accessibility to manufacture their own brand, ultimately leaving the industry a better, more diverse place.

Meet the Makers

JEMS Team

Dr. D’Wayne Edwards
Founder

Deltrese Edwards
Co-Founder

Carren Morris
President

Scot Hull
Director of Manufacturing

Kyle Plummer
Senior Development Manager

Andy Browne
Footwear Development Engineer

Suzette Henry
MLab Collective & CMF Training

Eustace Robinson
Footwear Engineer

Brock Mullen
Designer

Teri Hull
Marketing

Kendra Jackson
Accounting

Mike May
Maintenance Technician

Horace Graham
Maker

Adris Hamza
Maker

Kyle (Rocko) Slepoy
Maker

Michelle Phan
Maker

Elizabeth Lynch
Maker

Lori Carder
Maker

Verner Swanagain
Maker

Adriana Plaisted
Maker

Milana Fiorenza
Maker

Valerie Dellea
Maker

RJ Miller
Maker

Benjamin Dormajanto
Maker

Faye Richards
Maker

Melanie Thompson
Maker

John Schomaker
Maker

Lisa Cantalupo
Maker

Gladys de la Cruz
Maker 

Jacobs Samboy
Maker

Juan Plinio Cabrera
Maker

Alex Cabrera
Maker

Jose Ureña
Maker

Norma Morrison
Maker

Gloria San Juan
Maker

JEMS Founding Partners

Jay Schottenstein
DBI

Roger Rawlins
DBI

Debbie Ferree
DBI

Bill Jordan

DBI

Andrea Foster
DBI

Chris Hill
DSW

Jack Lin
LeCrown

David Zheng
LeCrown

Scott Sun
Solenest

Roy Tan
Solenest

Frank Zhang
Solenest

Zoe Mi
Solenest

JEMS Strategic Partners

Dana Hilliard
Mayor of Somersworth, NH

Mikael Pyrtel
State of NH Business Resource Specialist

Maurice Cote
Pamco Machine Works

Signet Mills
Textiles & Training

Jones and Vining
Lasts & Training

DrawBridge Creative
Website Design & Development

Dream Media Collective
Photography & Video

JEMS Partners

Prime Asia
Leather

Worthen Industries, Inc.
Adhesives

Stephen Gould
Copper Hangtag

Packaged
Shoe Boxes & Tissue Paper

Komar/Coats
Threads

Jeager
Reinforcements

Zeg Zug
Supplies

Entakt
Machine Mechanics

Special Thanks to our Founding Partners & Supporters

Pensole Lewis College, Designer Brands, Designer Shoe Warehouse, LeCrown, The City of Somersworth, Christina Jackson, Mike Davis, University of New Hampshire, United Shoe Machinery and Lynn Museum & Historical Society

About the FIRST JEM

On September 15th, 2023 we launched the FIRST JEM, designed by Dr. D’Wayne Edwards and manufactured at the JEMS by PENSOLE STU/DEO in New Hampshire. Follow the journey of how the JEM STU/DEO came to be, learn what we stand for, how we approach design, and hear the inspiration behind the FIRST JEM.

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