Real Leather. Stay Different. Nordic Region Student Design Competition 2022: Winner’s Announcement


Real Leather. Stay Different. Nordic Region Student Design Competition 2022: Winner’s Announcement

The Inaugural Real Leather. Stay Different. Nordic Region Student Design Competition, in partnership with ArtsThread, is now closed- with the winners officially chosen!

The category winners are:

  • Apparel Category: Emilia Utbult from Beckmans College of Design, Sweden for Ruby GG228
  • Accessories Category: Riikka Peltola from Aalto University, Finland for Leather Blossom
  • People’s Choice: Maria Julia Echarte Pascual from  VIA University College, Denmark for Sukeban

The category winners were chosen over a month long selection process, involving Real Leather. Stay Different. representatives and, ultimately, a judging panel of industry representatives who accessed entries anonymously, with their scores being aggregated to establish each category winner. The Nordic Region People’s Choice winner, Maria Julia Echarte Pascual, was selected via an online public vote which ran between 28th July – 25th August.

The Overall Winner, chosen from the category winners, is:

2022 Design Competition Winners





Winner: Overall and Apparel Category

Name:  Emilia Utbult, Beckmans College of Design, Sweden

Course:  Fashion BA

Instagram: @emiliautbultkarlsson

Emilia graduated from Beckmans College of Design in 2020, and is a fashion designer with a passion for working in a solution-oriented and sustainable way throughout all stages of the creative process. Her goal is to create clothing and products that are inviting and fun – with a twist. As a designer, she works in an experimental and spontaneous way with textile techniques and her unique design process, where she is driven by the idea of creating fun and interesting clothes that everyone can enjoy. Ruby GG228, her entry to this competition, is about shaping her origins in a contemporary fashion context. Her point of departure was references for clothing from the fishing culture in Gothenburg’s northern archipelago and the move to an urban city.


Category Winner : Accessories

Name: Riikka Peltola, Aalto University, Finland

Course:  Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design MA

Instagram: @riikkapelt

Riika Peltola is 28-year-old fashion designer and fiber artist From Finland. In the end of 2020, she graduated from Aalto University with Fashion as her major. She creates precious knit and crochet objects by adapting traditional craft techniques into original ways of using materials. By working with slow handcraft techniques, she discovers qualities and develops a common language between shape, material and technique. Translating memories into a material experience by creating associations between past and present is core to her artistic practice.


Category Winner: People’s Choice

Name:  Maria Julie Echarte Pascual, VIA University College, Denmark

Course:  Fashion Design and Business Bachelor

Instagram:  @ohmybubbletea

Maria Julia was born and raised in Tenerife before moving to Madrid to study fine arts and fashion design. After a few years of living and working in Spain, she received the opportunity to further her education at VIA University College in Denmark, where she is still currently a student. Her interests lie in history, fashion and the arts- which she attributes to her mother being a highly skilled seamstress and designer herself, as well as an artist. Being surrounded by creative people during her childhood helped shape her own creativity.  Her entry is inspired by Japanese school uniforms with marine-based themes.


Stay tuned for more updates on the winners and a look into their inspirations for each design!