Skip to main content

Blue Cast: Salli Deighton on Why Denim Designers Need Technical Know-How

The denim industry relies on specialized knowledge and skillsets. And as the category forges forward with sustainable innovation, it needs people who lean more toward action rather than words.

During the most recent Blue Cast episode, Lenzing’s Michael Kininmonth chatted with denim and production specialist Salli Deighton, who he describes as a “doer in an ocean of talkers.” Her three-decade career has included stints at Wrangler, Lee and Easy Jeans. Salli went freelance in the early 2000s, and she has since been tapped by companies like Arvind Mills, Fat Face, Asos and Marks & Spencer to develop denim lines, and her work has taken her around the globe.

When Salli started as a designer at Wrangler within VF Corporation, she was first sent to the company’s plant. Raymond Brown, who ran the facility, believed that the designers shouldn’t be planning out jeans until they understood how they were made by constructing their own pairs on the machines. During the 1990s, Salli explained that the hands-on approach extended to wet processing, since she would often get sent to the laundry with samples.

Read more on Carved in Blue.

This article is one of a series on Rivet from Lenzing’s Carved in Blue denim blog. From conversations with the experts behind the mills that make some of the world’s most-wanted denim to the global brands bringing novel denim made with TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal to the market, Carved in Blue shares the stories of those whose roots run deep with denim. Visit