Winner announced for UK Student Design Competition

United Kingdom
Published:  13 July, 2021

The inaugural UK Student Design Competition, run by Leather UK in partnership with the Real Leather, Stay Different marketing campaign on behalf of the Leather & Hide Council of America (LHCA), has named Jeaeun You, of De Montford University (DMU), Leicester, the overall winner of the 2021 competition. 

The competition aims to challenge young British fashion designers to design a new garment, accessory or item of footwear. The design must champion ‘slow style’ over ‘fast fashion’ using durable natural leather as the key material.

With fashion under the spotlight and the focus on the use of synthetics the competition attracted a high level of entries with students from leading design and fashion colleges including University South Wales, Manchester Metropolitan, DMU and London College of Fashion.

Winning the footwear category and taking the overall title, Jeaeun You impressed the judges with her footwear collection inspired by dance and movement. The shoe design transforms dynamic movement into shape and form creating balance and elegance. Commenting on Jeaeun’s award, Dr Kerry Senior of Leather UK said: “This stunning design marries elegance with style while also recognising the durability of leather. The result is a statement piece that captures the current cultural zeitgeist, marrying aesthetics, practicality and sustainability. And like most leather pieces it will last a lifetime. We thank Jeaeun for giving us a glimpse of what slow style might look like!”

The judges, including Georgina Goodman of the Mayfair boutique of the same name, Victoria Townsend of the London Academy of Bespoke, and Ruth Glen commented on the young talent on show saying: “Designs were thoughtful, concise and the delivery of each entrant’s message and process of getting to that message was inspiring. Recalling our own student days, what these students were able to achieve in a relatively short space of time was no mean feat. As judges we chose entries that we felt excelled in all areas and offered an extra spark of artisanal skill.”

Winning design from Jeaeun You

Alongside footwear category winners were: Celina Smith, University of South Wales, in Accessories with a 70’s festival-inspired rucksack as well as Aneta Milaszewicz, Manchester Metropolitan University, in Apparel with an overcoat inspired by one of Siberia’s last native tribes.

Jeaeung receives a trophy, cash prize and will appear in a feature on the competition in fashion magazine, Rollacoaster.