Meet the judges: Christopher Koerber, Paola Arosio, Gal Benjamin, Mike Adler, Leanne Elliott Young and CattyTay

Meet the judges: Christopher Koerber, Paola Arosio, Gal Benjamin, Mike Adler, Leanne Elliott Young and CattyTay

Meet the judges: Christopher Koerber, Paola Arosio, Gal Benjamin, Mike Adler, Leanne Elliott Young and CattyTay

8th June 2023

In partnership with Arts Thread, The Real Leather. Stay Different. International Student Design Competition judges have been announced for 2023. The judges for this year’s competition include last year’s overall winner Gal Benjamin, the Managing Director of Hugo Boss, Christopher Koerber, Head of Brands & Sustainability Projects at Camera della Moda, Paola Arosio and the well renowned celebrity stylist Mike Adler. Alongside the Co-Founders of Institute of Digital Fashion, Leanne Elliott Young and CattyTay.

With the ambition to celebrate designers utilising leather and other natural materials with minimal environmental impact, the competition is open to current students and recent graduates who have completed their studies within the past year. Designers can enter via the new RLSD run platform Using 50% or more leather participants are encouraged to create a design that falls into one of the three categories: clothing, footwear, or accessory.

All winning designs will be professionally made and included in a capsule collection showcased at the live competition final in Europe’s fashion capital, Milan, in October. The competition is accepting entries until June 30th.

Christopher Koerber has spent most of his professional life in the fashion industry, from senior executive roles at Tommy Hilfiger to the current Managing Director of Hugo Boss Ticino. He is known as a change agent, an innovative, big-picture thinker, a strong cross-functional collaborator, and a powerful motivator and mentor who raises the performance of diverse, global teams. His expertise encompasses operations, strategy, brand management, innovation, and consumer-centric products at all stages of the life cycle.

With 20 years of experience in the fashion industry and a decade dedicated to sustainability, Paola Arosio is a seasoned professional. As the Head of New Brands & Sustainability Projects at Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, Paola leads diverse initiatives and oversees departmental activities. From her early days managing TV programs to her pioneering work in sustainability at Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, Paola has made significant contributions. She organizes the International Sustainability Roundtable and manages the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards. Paola is also actively involved in promoting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion within the fashion industry. Her expertise continues to drive positive change, shaping a more sustainable and inclusive future for fashion.

Gal Benjamin, is an Israeli Assistant Designer at luxury fashion brand KAWAYAN and graduate from Shenkar College of Design, Engineering and Art. In 2022 he was crowned the Overall Winner of the Real Leather. Stay Different. International Student Design Competition.

Mike Adler works for leading celebrities, brands, fashion magazines and some of the world’s most iconic photographers. His work features in photography exhibitions, books and galleries—with recent works by Ellen Von Unwerth and Mike Adler for Fotografiska New York. His expertise and connections with many Haute Couture brands has given him a unique eye and a style celebrities yearn for. Across a career spanning 20 years, Mike has attended to the style of Josh O’Connor, Maisie Williams, Elizabeth Hurley, Emma Corrin, Monica Bellucci, Melissa George, David Guetta, Sophie Kauer, Catrinel Marlon and Pamela Anderson, among many others. What he loves about leather is its longevity and sustainability that allow fashion trends and commerciality to co-exist.

Leanne Elliott Young is the CEO & Co-Founder of Institute of Digital Fashion. She is noted globally as the lead innovator and commentator on the topics of metaverse, digital fashion innovation, inclusivity in tech, web3 sustainability and NFTs. Building business cases and creative concepts for the future; an inclusive, diverse, decentralized and sustainable one. Since graduating, she has held prestigious contracts with Nike; Global entertainment team on experiential marketing to Selfridges luxury store building retail innovation.

CattyTay launched IoDF, the Institute of Digital Fashion; an emblem for change in a broken system. Co-Founding the initiative alongside Leanne Elliott Young, IoDF acts as a platform to restructure how technology and digital are used from creation to consumer, pushing tech-use towards a more democratic and sustainable future. Widely considered a trailblazer, CattyTay is leading the drive towards a digital fashion future.

To access further information about the competition, including entry requirements, kindly click here to view the competition page.