International student design competition goes annual

Design Competition goes annual following 2020 success!

International student design competition goes annual

The Real Leather. Stay Different. International Student Design Competition celebrates the beauty, sustainability and versatility of leather, while recognizing the innovation and craftsmanship that the new generation has to offer. The competition engages with young and exciting designers to directly highlight the history, application and sustainable credentials of leather as a rich and versatile material. In doing so we look to recognize and reward creativity, craftwork and innovation in fashion & design while also creating new exciting ambassadors who can champion leather for the future.

Despite the challenges of this year, the ‘Real Leather. Stay Different.’ design competition inspired such a volume of high-quality entries that it is to take place again next year and beyond.

The competition which was launched to find the next generation of outstanding fashion and design students gathered more than 800 entries from 25 leading fashion and design universities across four different countries.

The 2020 competition was run by leather associations in China, Italy, Taiwan and the United Kingdom under the umbrella of the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) which has now confirmed it is to become an annual event.

The ‘Real Leather. Stay Different.’ Design competition celebrates all that is great about leather – sustainability, versatility, durability and beauty. The brief is to create ‘unique, compelling designs that promote the use of leather now and in the future’.  There are four design categories: Apparel, Footwear, Accessories and Bags.

The lucky (and hardworking) winners are awarded a range of prizes, including sought-after work placements with leading brands and a US tour.

LHCA President, Stephen Sothmann said: “As a global leader in leather, we are committed to promoting best practice in quality leather production. And we are committed to supporting fresh talent, at a time when they need it most. We are therefore delighted to announce the continuation of this unique competition. It gives students with an interest in promoting style ahead of fast fashion the opportunity to innovate and inspire, using a natural and incredible durable material. We would like to thank all participants in 2020 for their patience and look forward to the year ahead.”

The international student design competition’s pioneering format saw the LHCA and its partners the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA), UNIC – Italian Tanneries and Lineapelle (the worldwide leather promotion fairs and networks organisation), Leather UK and the Taiwan International Leather Association (TILA) work to promote the versatility, beauty and sustainability of leather.

First round judging in the in China and Taiwan competitions has been completed, and the final stages of the competitions will take place later this year. Unfortunately, the UK and Italy competitions will not be finished because of the pandemic, but the quality of the entrants was so high they will be asked to join the 2021 competition.

All we can say is that we also look forward to seeing the innovative designs in next year’s competition entries!

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If you want to read more about the design competition check out some of our other posts here!