Tims Take

A nail biting finish during this tension filled challenge!

on Jan 22, 2008

On the runway, Heidi tells the designers that they're taking a field trip -- with me -- and that they'll learn about the challenge on the trip. There are audible groans from almost everyone ....

I meet the designers in the lobby of Parsons and we load into our van. It's a gorgeous, bright morning for our field trip. We travel through the city, across the Brooklyn Bridge, and to the Brooklyn Dockyards on the East River opposite South Street Seaport and Lower Manhattan. There, I lead the designers to meet our special guest, Caroline Calvin, Senior Vice President of Design for Levi's. We're standing in front of a garage door that begins to open. As it does, I declare, "Behind this door you will find the raw materials for this challenge -- more than 500 pairs of 501 jeans in a variety of sizes and colors, and one-yard bolts of white cotton." Caroline delivers the challenge: to create an iconic denim look of your choice that captures the spirit of originality and creativity of the 501 legacy.

The jeans and cotton fabric are hanging from clotheslines strung throughout the inside of a massive warehouse. The designers are palpably daunted by the sight. They have three minutes to gather as many items as possible, and they have laundry bags in which to store them. With that accomplished, we have a lovely, but speedy, al fresco lunch on the dock, which all of us truly enjoyed. As Christian said, "I don't know when it was when I last saw the sky!"