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, supporting VF’s Apparel, Footwear, and Accessories brands (amongst which Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Dickies and most recently Supreme) with their Digital Transformation, he aims to explore the opportunities offered by digital tools and workflows and imagine the future of digitally enabled product creation and experiences.
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). He sits on the board of advisors of several startups and is working on two projects involving an experimental educational program for the unprivileged as well as an autonomous living technology.
An advocate of purposeful and responsible design, Safir believes that today's designers and innovators have an incredible opportunity to harness their collective creativity and today’s technological affordances to tackle the world’s social and humanitarian challenges.