Not so long ago, Levi’s was America’s only clothing brand that did a great job representing freedom and individualism.
Jennifer Sey was a gymnast who knew all about the versatility and power of Levi’s jeans. Sey, a gymnast, brought 10 pairs of Levis with her to the 1987 Goodwill Games. She was only 17 years old when she took the Levi’s along. The jeans were used as barter for Russian Lycra.
Sey would go on a long career at Levi’s as a marketing manager and then become the global brand president.
Sey and Levi parted because Levi couldn’t stand Levi’s posts on social media. She was offered $1million in severance. This would likely have come with a confidentiality contract. She declined the offer so that she could tell her story.
Sey did that at Bari Weiss’ Substack. Sey explains why the one position she can’t compromise on got her in so much trouble.
My public question about schools was early in the pandemic. I believed and still believe that the most harmful policies are the most harmful to the most vulnerable. Children most in need of safety and routines at school, especially those who are most vulnerable, would bear the greatest burden.
Sey’s story doesn’t revolve around being right-leaning. As a “heterosexual” “ally”, she has been a part of Pride parades. She expressed disapproval at George Floyd’s death.
Levi was fine with these positions. In 2008, Levi’s memoir exposed the dark side of gymnastics and made her an outspoken supporter.
Sey’s insistence that children learn in school with peers was the red line for Levi’s.
In 2020, I received a call from our head of corporate communications. He said that speaking for the company was what you do. He encouraged me to speak out.
They kept calling me. Legal. HR. A board member. Finally my boss the CEO.
Levi’s employees may speak out about Black Lives Matter or their desire to remove Donald Trump from office. That was too far.
Sey was told that education was a “hyperlocal” and that the company could not get involved. But, they didn’t want Sey speaking out as a high-ranking clothing company executive, but as a mother.
She was not afraid to speak out. Sey moved with her family to be in a position to send their children to school. Sey appeared on Fox News.
Sey was asked by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer of the company to apologize. She claimed that she was not a friend of Levi’s Black community.
Sey was told last fall by Levi’s CEO that she was the next CEO. But, the CEO made one condition. She would not talk about in-person learning. Sey refused to accept severance payments in order to speak out.
Sey believes Levi’s was once a symbol for “what was right about this country.”
Jennifer Sey refused to make a commitment that would lead to waking up. Sey was outspoken and the graceless woke made her suffer.
Sey doesn’t consider herself a victim. Sey holds her head high because she believes she is standing for what she believes. Sey’s are as American as a pair of Levi’s.