Looking back...

We took a lot of lessons from our first Levis session, the Red Tabs left strong impressions on the Levi Leadership Team.Inspirational materials,directional concepts and a seasonal global color palette that is sure to influence 2017 footwear product.

They told deep stories around product along with their footwear and brand designers,we had a great time working with one of the most historic brands on the planet.

Thank You Levis


Tom, Justin, and Francesco from Levi's Visit

Tom Berry, Justin Harvey, and Francesco Boninsegna of Levi's Footwear and Accessories came in to visit today and give feedback on where everyone is at in the design process. Teams gave informal pitches and were able to have conversations about design tweaks or brand direction.

The Red Tabs each presented their material and color stories. Because Levi's has such deep American heritage, applying synthetic leather to the brand can be tricky. To the consumer, synthetic and genuine leather are hard to differentiate between. Also, comfort and performance are major design ethos, so the mix of genuine leather with tech performance aspects is important. The CMDs are incorporating SRL genuine leather to connect with the heritage aspect of Levi's with Mogae knits and San Fang synthetics for performance. Check out the slideshow below!


The Red Tabs are moving forward with refining images that tell the product, design language, and tactile story. Genuine and synthetic leather will be carried across sneakers, casual, and boots to ensure cohesiveness. Levi's history is deeply intertwined with the history of the United States and leather reflects that heritage. The color palettes incorporate Levi's core colors and branch out in order to differentiate between shoes.

Week 3

Things are starting to come together for the boot, casual, and sneaker teams. Designers will be working towards finalizing designs towards the end of the week. The CMD's have been narrowing down inspiration and materials to tell a concise story. By the end of today each CMD will have a color palette outlined in order to move into color blocking next week. 


Jacqueline and the Casual team meeting with Ms. Suzette

Jacqueline and the Casual team meeting with Ms. Suzette

Keyana discussing with teammate Rosulo

Keyana discussing with teammate Rosulo

Otto and Suzette getting into some materials

Otto and Suzette getting into some materials

Materials Day 2

Day two of Suzette's color, materials and finish class was all about synthetics and genuine leather. Synthetics offer a sustainable and versatile alternative with a broad range of designed physical properties. Though the look and feel of genuine leather can be very closely mimicked, the history and tactile qualities that genuine leather provides make it a staple in the footwear industry.  

Anna Neraas from Mogae Textile Co. came to visit today

Anna is the U.S. Consultant for Design and Sales at Mogae. She brought some inspiring and innovative materials to show the class such as their TPU yarns in addition to her wealth of knowledge about materials and the footwear industry. One standout technology was the rainbow yarn which dyes individual strands in exact lengths to create an overall pattern once knitted. Check out the slideshow below!

Meet the Red Tabs!

My name is Keyana Thompson-Shaw. My current obsession is metallic pewter and I am excited to be working with a company that has a rich heritage such as Levi's. I graduated from the University of Michigan where I combined my passions by studying Sport Management, Art & Design, and sustainability leadership. This will be my second go round in Pensole, but first time as a Color and Materials Designer. During my first Pensole class, I worked with Adidas as a footwear designer, but I am interested in learning more about the color and materials side of a product. My first color experience started when I was young and would tag along with my mom to her college art studio. 

I have a passion for storytelling and I want to tell those inspiring stories through design, color, and materials. 

An old native american proverb says:

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”


My name is Jacqueline Shackelford and I am a graduate of Pratt Institute. Having grown up in a sports family I have always loved moving through space protected by the materials that support that journey. I am motivated to learn more about materials and technology with regards to footwear design. The collective vision of the PENSOLE Academy team with the Levi’s SOLLECTION team is focused on making us dare and spark the sensory story that
inspires in a timeless and ageless way. Levi’s storied history as one of the original
American brands gives us a lot of history to grow on.  I am excited to jump in and enjoy
the beautiful journey.


My name is Otto Aurek Stefan. I am currently an architecture student at the University of Utah and will graduate this upcoming May. I had the opportunity to participate in the 2015 FN Platform Challenge held by Pensole as a footwear designer, this will be my first time attending Pensole as a CMD. Growing up, I attended an arts-focused public elementary school where I experienced colors and materials in-depth for the first time. My experiences in college have continued this exposure and I am looking forward to immersing myself in the color and materials side of footwear.

Levi's has an incredibly strong heritage and I am very excited to be a part of their story.