Real Leather. Stay Different. International Student Design Competition announces the 10 finalists


Real Leather. Stay Different. International Student Design Competition announces the 10 finalists

Congratulations to our competition finalists!

Selected by the judging panel, chosen from nearly 400 entries from countries spanning from Argentina to Vietnam and Estonia to Sri Lanka, the finalists’ designs ranged from leather patchwork jumpsuits, moulded handbags and delicate jewellery to structured leather overcoats, intricate stitched jackets and extravagant hats. Entrants took inspiration from small family farms, deep sea monsters and even bacterial evolution, making the final ten designs in the Real Leather. Stay Different. International Student Design Competition truly stunning and outstandingly innovative.

The top 10 entries achieved the highest scores against a set of strict criteria including individuality, relevance (with current and future trends), conceptualisation (how clear the concept was explained), sustainability (making the best use of leather and its numerous attributes) and commerciality.

Run by Real Leather. Stay Different, in partnership with Rollacoaster and ArtsThread on behalf of the Leather & Hide Council of America, the competition set out to encourage the use and role of leather in delivering a more sustainable future and to support slow fashion.

The judging panel made of Katie Greenyer, Creative Director for the Pentland Group, Mike Adler, Fashion Stylist and Milan Miladinov, Art Director at Rollacoaster magazine was truly impressed by the quality of the entries and the talent displayed by this new generation of designers.

Katie Greenyer said: “What an incredible difficult project to judge! I thoroughly enjoyed reading the rationales and seeing development thumbnails sketches and final designs. Such breadth of projects and the ideation, innovation, were absolutely fascinating. I was blown away with the standard of work and the entrees.”

Mike Adler added: “Such great submissions! Being a judge on this competition was incredibly interesting and, to be honest, a little bit challenging! Seeing what that next generation is capable of was inspiring and gave me great hope for the future of the fashion industry. I loved seeing so many sustainable submissions driven by the use of leather as a by-product of the meat and dairy industry.”

Milan Miladinov also commented: “It’s been great to see the vast array of talent from around the world send in their creative perspectives on leather. It’s clear that the generation coming has a strong desire to be sustainable whilst also pushing boundaries of originality. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the judging panel.”

The ten finalists representing the UK, the US, Ecuador, Poland and Denmark, used detailed sketches, photos, videos and mood boards – all submitted and assessed digitally – to share their innovative visions with the judges.

Among the final ten entries three were for accessories and seven for apparel. These ten entries will go through further review by the judging panel before a winner is announced at the end of June. The winner will be invited to travel to London (COVID-19 safety measures apply) to attend the cover shoot and see their winning design featured on the cover of Rollacoaster Magazine and will be interviewed for a competition feature also promoted in sister magazine, Wonderland. They will also receive a trophy and a coffee table book with the best designs from the international and national competitions that ran across the world.

Each finalist has been profiled so to learn more about their presentations please click their names below:

The finalists are:

Alice Morgan for ‘Fragments’

Chloe Twigg

Emily Omesi for ‘Bacterial Genetics’

Iga Kampa for ‘Fawda’

Jonathan Ferris for ‘Guntastölzl’

Katie Griffith Morgan for ‘Through the Lens’

Meghan Beattie for ‘Deep Sea’

Nathalie Hauser for ‘Gestalt’

Teresita Marrero Escalona for ‘A Tu Gusto’

Yang Shen for ‘Looming’


Once again, we thank everyone for their entries and invite you to come back soon to discover who the winner is.