Date published: April 19, 2017

Fashion designer wins global jeans competition

A fashion designer has won an international competition run by denim giants Levi’s.

Fashion student Val Kristopher Galbo is one of just two designers from around the world to be chosen by the judges of the Levi’s X Arts Thread Design contest, beating off competition from nearly 500 fashion students from 84 design schools across the world.

He said: “I am a young, creative person who is willing to tackle challenges that goes far beyond the ‘norm.’ 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.”

Competitors were invited to create designs for outfits for Levi’s Made & Crafted fall/ winter 2018 collection, as well as creating a new visual identity for the brand.

Val will now join a student from France’s l’Ecole la Chambre syndicale de la Couture Parisienne to claim the prize – a 10-week internship at Levi’s California headquarters this summer.

There, he will work alongside Jonathan Cheung, Levi’s SVP of Global Design, 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.

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

Val made it into the final eight of the competition, where he was invited to an interview with senior Levi’s executives.

Jonathan Cheung said: “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.”

The competition is now in its second year, and the University of Salford’s fashion design programme also enjoyed success in 2016 when students Karin Human and Emma Lewin made it into the final eight.

The University’s fashion department was also recently shortlisted in the teaching excellence category of the Guardian University Awards, after judges were impressed with a project in which fashion students spent one day working with their counterparts in a Chinese institution.

University of Salford fashion design programme leader Bashir Aswat said: “Levi’s is an international household name and we’re all incredibly proud of Val for his success in this competition, which seeks to find the best young designers around the world.  He’s an incredible example of the kind of innovative talent we’re nurturing here in Salford.”

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