Meet This Year’s Levi’s® x ARTS THREAD Winners

Levi Strauss & Co.
April 11, 2017

Lou Millet is a 20-year-old Parisian currently in the throes of her fashion studies at the l’Ecole la Chambre syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.

Val Kristopher Galbo, a student at Manchester’s University of Salford in the UK, has been fostering his love of fashion since he was a teenager – he was the kid who needed to get creative about freshening up his wardrobe without money to spare.

Both are this year’s winners in the Levi’s® x ARTS THREAD Design Competition. Lou and Val were chosen out of more than 490 student applicants from 84 schools across the globe to spend 10 weeks with Levi’s® designers here at our San Francisco headquarters this summer.

“For our second Levi’s x Arts Thread competition, the students were, again, of a very impressive standard. To everyone that entered, our heartfelt thanks. You’re a talented generation and the future looks bright,” said Jonathan Cheung, Levi’s® SVP of Global Design. “All eight final applicants were worthy of an internship and they did their fashion schools proud. However, from the hundreds of entrants, we could only pick two, and Lou and Val really stood out. I remember during their interviews silently mouthing ‘wow.’ We look forward to welcoming them to Levi’s® Design.”

This year’s focus was on Levi’s® Made & Crafted® where applicants were encouraged to share their vision for the 2018 collection. They each designed four-to-eight outfits for Levi’s® Made & Crafted® Fall/Winter 2018 line as well as crafted a visual identity for the brand.

Design by Val Kristopher Galbo.

Design by Val Kristopher Galbo.

The challenge was a natural fit for Val, who describes his idea of fun as working toward his goal to become a designer.

“I am a young, creative person who is willing to tackle challenges that goes far beyond the ‘norm,’” Val said. “As a person who likes to take on big challenges, I like to say and brag about my long-term and short-term goals to people because this only makes me thrive for more. I am a brave kid, so failure does not scare me, it only excites me.”

Lou draws inspiration from the world around her. “I’m inspired by pretty much everything. I believe anything can become interesting if it is used it in the right way,” she said. “But what I like most are people – people in the street, people at work…” She talks about being motivated by everyday individuals throughout the decades simply living in the fashions that defined them. “I’m especially fascinated with fashion evolution through cultural revolutions.”

Design by Lou Millet.

Design by Lou Millet.

Both agree on the ultimate Levi’s® design – the iconic 501®.

“It is a must,” Lou said. “It has inspired so many movements throughout history. All around the world people wear 501s® as they are iconic and veritable classics.”

As Val tells it, “It is a canvas for all jeans that have been invented to date. It is the only denim that has been worn throughout different cultures, ages, genders and much more.”

The winners are now set to embark on their own Levi’s® story as they prepare to make the journey to the U.S. for their internships. They 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.

“To me, [this internship] is a way that I can actually give value to the company and obtain knowledge,” Val said. “I am not here so I can put this down into a CV, I am coming to create something more.”