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Levi’s Searches for Young Talent with Student Design Competitions

Levi’s is looking for inspiration from tomorrow’s designers as the company joins up with students on two new projects. The denim brand is collaborating with Pensole Design Academy on a footwear collection and organizing a competition with Arts Thread to envision the future of denim.

Pensole and Levi’s will launch “Sollection,” a 4-week footwear design master class in February. The program will accept 12 aspiring designers who will then create a six-piece shoe collection, which will be sold exclusively by a Levi’s retail partner nationwide. The collection will be made up of three categories: boots, lifestyle and sneakers.

Levi’s Senior Vice President of Business Development Tom Berry said in a statement to Portland Business Journal, “With Pensole’s Sollection class we look forward to mining this rich brand history and working with fresh talent from around the globe to reimagine footwear for one of America’s most loved and iconic brands.”

The second project was launched in the first week of December in collaboration with Denim 2020, a creative graduate website that provides online portfolio hosting to design students. The challenge asks fashion design students to submit their ideas of what denim will look like in 2020. The four winning students will receive a paid 10-week design internship at Levi’s San Francisco headquarters during the summer of 2016.

Jonathan Cheung, Levi’s senior vice president of design, said, “Levi’s has always been a people company. It’s the people who make all the difference. We’re looking forward to working with the best young talent out there.”