Sr. Director, Advanced Digital Creation
VF Corporation | Los Angeles
Born in Casablanca to a Moroccan father and a German mother, Safir grew up in a multicultural environment after moving to Luxemburg at the age of six. After getting his engineering degree in Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing, he secured an internship at Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart before being accepted to Art Center College of Design’s Transportation Design program. With over 20 years of combined experience as an automotive engineer and industrial designer, Safir has been able to leverage his strategic thinking and creative problem-solving skills to tackle a wide range of innovation challenges. Safir was an early adopter of 3D design and prototyping tools and carried his experience from the automotive world into the fashion and footwear industry. As Head of Innovation for the industry’s leading Action Sports brand, Vans, he oversaw a number of initiatives that spanned across product and experiences. In his new role, heading Digital Innovation for VF’s 20+ Apparel, Footwear, and Accessories brands (amongst which Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Dickies and most recently Supreme), he aims to explore the opportunities offered by digital tools and workflows and imagine the future of Digital Design and Product Creation.
He is an Aspen Institute First Mover’s fellow, heads up the 3D Retail Coalition’s Education Committee and teaches Design and Innovation at Art Center College of Design as well as at University of Southern California’s Iovine and Young Academy (founded by Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine). An advocate of purposeful and responsible design, Safir has been pursuing a passion project, building out his vision of an experimental model for education in Design and Innovation. For this, he is in the process of securing partnerships with some of the most respected thought leaders and educational institutions to help democratize access to world-class education and close the digital skills gap. Safir speaks 8 languages, lives in Pasadena, California with his wife and twin daughters, and spends his free time practicing the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, going down slopes at an unreasonable speed on a mountain bike or snowboard and traveling the world in pursuit of the perfect shot and the perfect bite.