For years, we’ve been helping to inspire the next generation of designers by asking kids what shoes they want to see us create. We received hundreds of submissions and voted internally on a color palette to bring to life on the Nova 2. Meet our winner, Jade Dixon, who was inspired by her love of flowers. Don’t forget to head to Merell.com to get a pair of these kid-created kicks!
“Hi I’m Jade, 11 years old and I love to bake, swim, play video games with my brother and draw. My favorite thing to do outside is going to the park, ride my bike and take nature walks. The best part [of the contest] was coloring different ideas. I always have more than one idea. Coloring also helps me relax.
I got the colors from an image of pretty flowers which are my favorite things to look at outside. When I learned I won. I felt overjoyed that out of everyone, my color-way was chosen! I couldn’t believe it. I had tears of joy.
My Dad has definitely shown me the way and process in my journey. He helps me stay inspired. He sends me images of different things just because. He is always there to help me when I need it. I did these colorways on my own. He pushes me not to settle on one idea
so I’ve learned to explore a lot of ideas. I did 12 color-ways and he helped me narrow it down to two. I chose my favorite.
I’m looking forward to wearing my first real design! Thank you so much for choosing my colorway, I’ll keep these shoes forever.”
Why do you think it is important for kids to be creative?
It is important for children to be creative because it is a form of self expression. Children can express a lot of emotion and uniqueness through creativity and art. It can be therapeutic and serve as an outlet like sports.
How do you feel art empowers children?
I feel art empowers children because it gives them the freedom to make decisions on their own without rules. Imagination is the best when it is set free with no care. When their art decisions are followed up with positive reinforcement and direction it gives them power and self-confidence in the things they create.
How did you feel when you found out that Jade won the contest?
Super proud. I was proud of her for just being brave enough to put her work out there. Jade did a lot of colorways to get to her 2 best and the one I suggested is the one she did not choose. She went with what she thought was best and that was the one. It’s awesome to see her learn and grow into the creative she is now.
How long have you been designing shoes?
I’ve been designing for 10 years. I found out designing shoes was a real thing at 26 years old. That’s what I always wanted to do. Seeing something that was a thought on paper come to life never gets old. Sharing the process and mentoring is also a big part of why I like what I do.
How does it make you feel to see your kids design a shoe when that is something you are so passionate about?
I love to see them create even if it is not shoes but seeing the creativity through footwear is just indescribable. I’m glad they are getting to see what is possible early.
We just want to thank Merrell for this great opportunity. We are grateful that Jade gets to see her idea visualized at an early age! Last summer, this was Jade’s favorite thing to do. I’m glad she took a chance to share her talent. We hope she keeps constantly developing her skills so one day she can claim the title of designer for a dope company like Merrell. Thanks again! – Jade & Chris Dixon