The project involves approximately 50 students currently enrolled in two courses; BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation, and BA (Hons) Cordwainers Fashion Bags and Accessories: Product Design and Innovation. According to Lineapelle, the contest aims to help the students to develop an all-round understanding of the characteristics of leather material, and it encourages them to consider how leather can be used in the development of their creative designs. The students will be asked to create prototypes that are innovative and sustainable, and particular attention will be paid to designs that have successfully interpreted the needs of the end consumer in a contemporary global context, such as environmental and ethical concerns and the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Lineapelle will supply the leather, which can be used alongside other natural materials, but no leather imitations can be used. As part of the project, Lineapelle will provide students with extensive online workshops on topics such as economic analysis of the sector and leatherwork techniques, seminars on leather as a sustainable and recyclable material, and an in-depth look at fashion trends for Winter 2021/22.

Officially launched in October 2020, the prototype will be presented to a jury in February. The prototypes selected will then go on to the next stage when product materials and manufacturing processes will be fine-tuned. The two winners, one for shoes and one for leather goods, are to be announced by the end of summer and they will be offered a tour of Italian tanneries and manufacturing firms.