It’s not every day that you get to build and staff a laboratory dedicated to innovation. From scratch. For me, it’s a dream come true.
What may be interesting to some, is that this innovation lab belongs to Levi Strauss & Co., and not some Bay Area high-tech firm.
My name’s Bart Sights, and I’ll be directing the company’s Innovation Lab. For the past three years, I’ve been leading our global product development center in Corlu, Turkey.
Now you might be wondering what innovation has to do with blue jeans and fashion? Think back 140 years, to when the Levi’s® 501® jean was born, and you’ll understand.
Back then, the 501® was so innovative that it was awarded a U.S. patent. It’s my job to see that this company carries on the innovative work started by blue jean inventors Levi Strauss, who started this company, and his business partner Jacob Davis.
In a few weeks, near San Francisco’s Embarcadero, we’ll open our Innovation Lab. Right now, we’re busy looking for the right people who will come together to help designers determine the fashion innovations of tomorrow – the fit and finishes that will differentiate our products from the competition, and keep our brands in the lead for the next 140 years.
What makes this search particularly interesting is that we’re talking to candidates who come from a variety of creative, hands-on, detail-oriented backgrounds. In other words, you don’t have to have a background in fashion to break new ground in fabric finishes. You might be a painter, woodworker, landscaper or a barista.
What makes these positions so interesting is the collaboration with designers to understand what they’re trying to achieve and then using your experience, insights and the tools of the lab to execute the vision. It’s fast-paced, innovative work. It’s also really cool to ultimately see what you’ve helped create on the shelves of ours stores, or being worn by consumers around the world.
If you’re interested in working with us in the Innovation Lab, I encourage you to check out the openings on theCareers section of this website. If you’re a hands-on creative who thrives on collaboration and creation, this could be a perfect fit.