An Interview with Peter Stolz of Levi's Made & Crafted

Working as men’s designer for Levi’s Made & Crafted™, Peter Stolz has the rare privilege of

Fashion
310 Hypes 0 Comments

Working as men’s designer for Levi’s Made & Crafted™, Peter Stolz has the rare privilege of working with and reworking some of the most influential pieces the brand has produced. Yet, being tasked with keeping the iconic brand fresh and culturally relevant in an already competitive denim market is a challenge that doesn’t seem to faze him. Here, he shares some of his perspectives on the present cultural climate as well as designing for Levi’s in our latest interview:

Can you introduce yourself and your role?

I’m Peter Stolz, Senior Global Designer for Levi’s Made & Crafted.

The classic nature of Levi’s means you often work with key staples. Do you see this as a limitation, or an appropriate creative limitation?

Having the chance to work with some of the most iconic and most imitated pieces of clothing ever produced is quite a privilege. Being able to interpret them seasonally and put a twist on them makes me feel like I am a part of the history of Levi’s.

When appropriating and changing these classics, or at least modifying them, how do you keep the narrative or ensure there’s a thread of Levi’s DNA present in contemporary designs?

I am intrigued with the idea of taking our Icons and spinning them, putting a new perspective on them, and letting people recognize there is something familiar, yet different about them. I like to make the dots and let the consumer connect them for themselves.

 One thing that is spoken about, is the use of special material changes and executions. What did you apply in this instance?

As far as Made & Crafted is concerned, we try to use the best fabrics and trims that we possibly can for the product. Modernizing Levi’s is also a big deal for LMC. We like to say we are trying to “shake the dust off.”

The notion of surfing especially on the East Coast has been an interesting development in recent times. What do you associate this movement with?

It’s all about being connected to the ocean, making a connection with nature. It doesn’t matter what coast you are on – if there are waves, people will want to ride and feel the power of the negative ions that the water provides us.

How do you guys work off one another? Does one have a particular strength and vice versa?

Just like any team, we all have particular strengths and diverse interests, and bringing these together is what truly makes the team great. We are constantly bouncing ideas and themes off of each other, and asking for advice on new and different thoughts. Since we all come from different backgrounds and have different views, the creative tension that comes together to turn out new ideas is really inspiring. Especially when we are coming up with new seasonal concepts and stories, that’s when we have the most collaborative influence on each other.

As designers, how often and important is the current cultural climate to your inspirations? Have you had ideas and concepts marinate and sit only for the right moment to emerge to bring them to life?

Always. We often come up with ideas that are great, but sometimes they’re either too soon to bring in, need time to marinate and develop (both in ideation and physical development), or just simply don’t go with our seasonal direction.

Taking two steps back, how do you usually approach taking an idea and make it tangible?

Well, as designers, our number one job is to take ideas and make them tangible. That being said, I look to make things that feel very authentic to Levi’s, and attention to detail is the highest form of authenticity. I also like to take a cue from two of my design “idols,” Ray and Charles Eames and try to remember my responsibility as a storyteller.

Is time a significant consideration during your creative process? How much, or little, does passing of time affect your perspective/vision of a given project?

It’s a mix, really. Sometimes you need to meet a more immediate need of what’s going on in the market or relevant more immediately. Though if you can meet both the immediate cultural relevancy AND remain classic or timeless, that’s when I feel a product is most successful.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Levi’s Made in Japan FW21 Continues to Celebrate Japanese Craftsmanship
Fashion

Levi’s Made in Japan FW21 Continues to Celebrate Japanese Craftsmanship

With fabric from the Kaihara Denim Mill.

Watch Peter Knetter Craft a Wooden Nintendo Switch
Gaming

Watch Peter Knetter Craft a Wooden Nintendo Switch

Complete with wooden buttons and thumbsticks.

The Levi’s X Jaden Smith Capsule Is an Ode to DIY Customization
Fashion

The Levi’s X Jaden Smith Capsule Is an Ode to DIY Customization

Featuring Levi’s signature 501 jeans and Type III Trucker jacket.


CLOT and Levi’s Unveils "Year of the Tiger" Denim Collection
Fashion

CLOT and Levi’s Unveils "Year of the Tiger" Denim Collection

An East-meets-West collaboration.

Que - OG Bobby Johnson (Marvel Alexander & Snugsworth Remix)
Music 

Que - OG Bobby Johnson (Marvel Alexander & Snugsworth Remix)

Marvel Alexander and Snugsworth — the duo responsible for the hypnotic A$AP Ferg hit “Shabba” –

Nike CTR 360 Limited Edition "Lights Out"
Footwear Fashion

Nike CTR 360 Limited Edition "Lights Out"

Although the popular CTR 360 Maestri boot will no longer see any future innovations to its line,

BEAMS 2014 Spring/Summer "Sunshine Blvd" Lookbook
Fashion

BEAMS 2014 Spring/Summer "Sunshine Blvd" Lookbook

For its 2014 spring/summer collection, BEAMS splits its lookbook into three themed sections –

ASICS 2014 Spring/Summer GEL-LYTE III Sneakers
Footwear Fashion

ASICS 2014 Spring/Summer GEL-LYTE III Sneakers

Immediately recognizable for its unorthodox split tongue, the Gel Lyte III is one of ASICS’

Watch ScHoolboy Q Perform "Studio" and "What They Want" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Music 

Watch ScHoolboy Q Perform "Studio" and "What They Want" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The latest musical guest on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show is TDE’s own ScHoolboy Q, and he took


Reebok Instapump Fury OG "Tricolor"
Footwear Fashion

Reebok Instapump Fury OG "Tricolor"

The Reebok Instapump Fury OG makes a special appearance this spring with a new “Tricolor” colorway.

Sign The Petition To Make The "Busta Rhymes Island" A Reality
Music 

Sign The Petition To Make The "Busta Rhymes Island" A Reality

Kevin O’Brien is a hip-hop enthusiast who traces his passion for music back to the moment he picked

Ewing Center High Retro Blue/White/Orange
Footwear Fashion

Ewing Center High Retro Blue/White/Orange

Bringing to limelight a basketball classic, Ewing Athletics offers up an updated colorway for its

Sango - Tell Me One Thing
Music 

Sango - Tell Me One Thing

Set to take on North America with AGO’s Waldo this May for a four-stop mini-tour, it looks like

Reebok GL 6000 Athletic Pack
Footwear Fashion

Reebok GL 6000 Athletic Pack

Reebok drops a new three-pack for its GL 6000 silhouette, updating it with swooping overlays with

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. If you enjoy our content, please whitelist our site to show your support. We’d really appreciate it.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.