MEET THE JUDGES: Jörg Horcher, Helena Waker and Emilia Utbult-Karlsson


MEET THE JUDGES: Jörg Horcher, Helena Waker and Emilia Utbult-Karlsson

The panel of judges for the Real Leather. Stay Different. Nordic Region Student Design Competition 2023, in partnership with Arts Thread, has been announced featuring two prominent industry figures and our first ever overall winner of the competition. The judges are Jörg Horcher, Managing Director of Hugo Boss (Northern Hub), Helena Waker, CEO of Stockholm Fashion District & Association of Trade Partners Sweden, and Emilia Utbult-Karlsson, winner of the Overall and Apparel Category in last year’s competition.

The competition is open to students and recent graduates of art and design programs, with the aim of promoting innovative design using leather and other natural materials with minimal environmental impact. Entrants are challenged to create a single apparel, footwear, or accessory using at least 50% leather. Designers can enter via the new RLSD run platform

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

Jörg Horcher, Helena Waker, and Emilia Utbult-Karlsson bring impressive backgrounds to the panel, with extensive experience in fashion, design, and sustainability.

Jörg Horcher began his journey with Hugo Boss in 2007, joining the Eastern Europe wholesale team based in Zug, Switzerland. During his six-year tenure, he worked across all brands, genders, and product lines, which gave him profound product knowledge. In 2013, he was appointed as Wholesale and Business Development Director in Moscow, overseeing a brand new subsidiary and working alongside a newly created local team. After eight years in Moscow, Jörg progressed to Managing Director of the Northern Hub, where he currently works with his team to execute their Claim 5 strategy and deliver excellent growth.

Helena Waker is the CEO of Stockholm Fashion District & Association of Trade Partners Sweden, an international business network deeply rooted in fashion and design. The network’s members include agents, distributors, designers, importers, and suppliers, and the organization has over 100 years of experience in national and international trade, as well as establishing collaborations with business networks, organizations, and government. Trade Partners Sweden is the founder and operator of Stockholm Fashion District.

Emilia Utbult-Karlsson is a Swedish fashion designer who graduated from Beckmans College of Design in 2020. She was the Overall and Apparel Category Winner of the RLSD 2022 Nordic Region Student Design Competition. Her goal is to pursue sustainable design practices in an experimental and playful manner.

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