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Designing Shoes and Lives

September 11, 2020

Lasell University announces the hiring of long time Nike footwear innovator and engineer, Mike Friton. For over 30 years, Mike Friton worked at Nike's prestigious "Innovation Kitchen" where he designed and patented over 20 Nike designs, including iconic models such as Nike Presto and Nike Woven.

Mike Friton at Lasell University

After leaving Nike in 2009, Friton founded his own company, Friton Design. Friton Design is a creative incubator for innovative footwear design and product development. The mission is to leverage a passion for creativity in athletic shoe design to a broader spectrum of product development. Friton explores universal design principles and applies them in innovative ways to create radically different and uniquely functional new products.

In his new role at Lasell, Friton will be teaching FASH910: Shoe Design Basics, while collaborating with Fashion Ethics Professor Kathleen Grevers, who put together the Footwear Design Certificate offered by Lasell's Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) division. Friton believes, "Whether you work in footwear or another industry entirely, learning to think differently will set you apart."   

In his class he will shed light on the following:  

Week 1 - Building a healthy foundation - the Last and foot anatomy; dynamic vs static fit
Week 2 - Material options - synthetic, organic, sustainability, origami
Week 3 - Styling - upper construction, pattern techniques, yields 
Week 4 - Midsole and outsole choices: foam, rubber, 3D printing
Week 5 - Work environment - corporate organizational responsibilities, Tech Pack, pricing  

Friton's extensive knowledge and hands-on expertise with high quality demand products has been successfully applied to a variety of goods and industries worldwide. In addition to his superior functionality expertise, he has experience in all facets of product design, product development, prototype making, pattern engineering and grading, CAD modeling, tech packs, small scale local production, factory sourcing, and material sourcing.  

Friton graduated from the University of Oregon with an anthropology degree. As a student at Oregon, he was a competitive runner and collaborated with the Co-Founder of Nike, Mr. Bill Bowerman, for 18 years.