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Inside the Levi’s® x ARTS THREAD program


When Angela Fusco took a chance on a competition that would take her from London to the San Francisco headquarters of Levi Strauss & Co. for the summer, it was less about fear of the unknown than it was about taking a leap of faith.

“I didn’t know exactly how my time at Levi’s® would pan out,” she said. “But, above all else, I came here wanting a challenge and to show that science had a home in the fashion industry. And that’s exactly what I got.”

As one of the finalists of last year’s Levi’s® x ARTS THREAD Design Competition, Angela, a Nottingham Trent University design graduate, was tapped to bring her personal creativity and point of view to Levi’s® to find ways to build better denim for 2020.

Angela was joined by fellow finalists Matilda Barrowcliff, Ryan Houlton and Cavan McPherson for a paid, 10-week design internship where they worked within several aspects of the Levi’s® design business under top in-house mentors. They were each assigned specific projects to explore, which culminated in pitches at the end of the internship.

Angela’s project focused on finding natural solutions for performance fibers.

“Innovation is something that I’ve pursued from a young age, and proving that it has a place in clothing has definitely been an uphill battle in the past,” she said. “But Levi’s® takes it seriously and looking to the future is an integral part of the design process here.”

Her hard work has paid off – Angela was given an extension here at LS&Co. as she continues to work closely with her team on the effort.

And now it’s time for a new class.

The 2017 Levi’s® x ARTS THREAD Design Competition is back, focusing on Levi’s® Made & Crafted®. Design students, 18 and over, are encouraged to share their vision for the 2018 collection for a chance to win a 10-week internship here at Levi Strauss & Co.’s San Francisco headquarters in Summer 2017.

Applicants are asked to design four-to-eight outfits for Levi’s® Made & Crafted® Fall/Winter 2018 line as well as a visual identity for the brand. Like last year, four design students will be chosen, and will have the opportunity to work with Jonathan and his team of designers, take advantage of the Levi’s Archives, and do some work at the Eureka Innovation Lab with Bart Sights, Vice President of Technical Innovation for LS&Co.

“We are looking for intelligence, taste, curiosity, independent thinking, insight, wisdom, decision making, determination and optimism,” Jonathan said of potential candidates. “If you’re looking for a challenge, if you’re hungry to learn then, give this competition a shot. You have nothing to lose. The way we like to think here is ‘you can either win or learn.’ We’re looking for amazing designers, and we know you are out there.”

Apply now! The application process is now open through November 30; go to artsthread.com.