Bill Amberg, Ruth Glen & Suzie Fletcher join as judges for the 2022 UK Student Design Competition

Meet the judges: Bill Amber, Suzie Fletcher & Ruth Glen

Bill Amberg, Ruth Glen & Suzie Fletcher join as judges for the 2022 UK Student Design Competition

Real Leather. Stay Different. is pleased to announce the appointment of this year’s judging panel for the UK Student Design Competition. World-renowned designer Bill Amberg, master saddle maker Suzie Fletcher and bespoke creator and repairer Ruth Glen will be faced with the difficult task of choosing the best creations from this year’s competition.

Open to current undergraduate students and recent graduates, the competition is run in partnership with ArtsThread and Leather UK. Its mission is to encourage a new generation of designers to reconsider their relationship with leather and other natural materials to create stunning designs where longevity and minimal environmental impact is key.

Entrants are challenged to design a piece of clothing, footwear or an accessory using 50% or more leather. As part of the prize, the winning design will be professionally made and form part of a capsule collection presented at the International Student Competition Awards Party in London during Fashion Week in September. The competition is now live, with entries being accepted until 30th June.




Bill Amberg founded the Bill Amberg Studio in 1984. He is a global authority on architectural leatherwork and the integration of leather into interior spaces. Alongside architecture and interiors, the Bill Amberg Studio is renowned for its artisanal leather bags and accessories, with his iconic ‘Rocket Bag’ included in the permanent collection of London’s V&A and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Bill is passionate about sustainability and is involved in a host of mentor and social enterprises across the craft sphere. He is a board member and trustee of Cockpit Arts and the National Leather Collection, an honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, and has honorary doctorates from UAL and the University of Northampton.


Suzie Fletcher is an English Master Saddle Maker who specialises in the design and manufacture of English saddles. Herself a keen rider, Suzie focuses on the hard to fit horse and the female rider. Alongside the equestrian interest of her business, Suzie repairs and restores all kinds of leather items including furniture from the 1950’s to present day. With her eye for design and belief in preservation and restoration she spends her time working on a wide variety of items.

In her 47 year career, Suzie has worked both in the UK and abroad helping to train and share the vast amount of knowledge she has acquired over the years. While in the states Suzie acted as the authorised repair person for many of the well-known saddle makers in Walsall UK.

Suzie continues to broaden her education at every opportunity and enjoys sharing different ideas and theories of leather crafting with those who share in her passion. She is a Patron of the Sustainable Leather Foundation and is passionate about the leather industry’s place within a sustainable future, and the education of consumers about leather’s role as part of a long-term solution for sustainability.


Ruth Glen runs a London-based studio working with an extensive team of industry department experts. They specialise in design, product development and the making of bespoke pieces.

Following specialist training at Cordwainers College and thirty-five years in the industry, Ruth’s experience has extended across the private, commercial and public sectors, working closely with UK and international designers from High Street to Couture.

Ruth has twenty years of teaching experience; training and mentoring the next generation of makers, honed from her time at Central St. Martins, the London College of Fashion and Cordwainers College. Ruth and her team work closely with selected BA/MA students and universities to provide them with high quality creative direction, product development and prototyping services. We have always supported students and encouraged newcomers to the industry and are currently developing an in-house initiative focusing on education and skills training.


Click here to view the competition page for entry details and other information.