Levi’s® x ARTS THREAD Design Competition Tackles Engineered Jeans

Levi Strauss & Co.
November 20, 2017

Almost two decades ago, the Levi’s® Design team had a flash of inspiration that totally twisted the traditional concept of jeans.

The Levi’s® Engineered Jeans (LEJ) were born from that brainstorm, jeans with ergonomically twisted leg seams that reimagined the relationship of form, function and fabric and prioritized the “freedom to move.”

Now, in anticipation of the 20th anniversary of the LEJs, Levi’s® is looking for a little help to spark the next great revolution in denim, delivering comfort and performance in a sustainable way.

The third annual Levi’s® x Arts Thread Design competition is now officially open for applications. We’re looking for the best young designers, and challenging them to design a 21st Century version of the Levi’s® Engineered Jeans. Applicants can borrow design elements from the original, or totally reinvent the concept – either way, they should bring a fresh and modern take on LEJ’s philosophy of comfort and freedom to move.

Applicants are asked to define their own philosophy around the new LEJ, and design a capsule collection of four to eight outfits for men, women or gender neutral. Contest winners will score a 10-week internship with the Levi’s® brand in the summer of 2018, where they can learn from experts and contribute their unique voice to the team.

(If it comes to a tie-breaker on equal talent we will give priority to applicants who can establish that they will be eligible to work in the U.S. after the internship is over).

The Levi’s® x ARTS THREAD Design Challenge is an annual partnership with ARTS THREAD, which provides online portfolio hosting to design students around the globe.

“At Levi’s, we believe it’s the people who make all the difference, so nurturing the next generation of young talent is a priority for us,” said Jonathan Cheung, head of design for Levi’s®. “Come find us. Show us your voice and your vision through this contest.”

The chance to reinvent Levi’s® Engineered Jeans is fertile ground for creativity. The originals were groundbreaking when they debuted in 1999, heralded by a series of eye-catchingly quirky commercials. The “Odyssey” ad showcased a denim-clad duo sprinting through walls, running straight up towering trees and eventually breaking the bonds of gravity as they leap into the sky. Another ad, “Twisted to Fit,” featured young dancers with limbs that snake and snarl, sideshow style.

Levi’s® looks forward to seeing how today’s young designers weave together current trends and new technology into the next generation of Engineered Jeans. Entries are open through January 28, 2018 and can be submitted here.