Launched in early 2020 to promote the use of sustainably sourced leather among fashion students and designers, organiser LHCA has confirmed that from the beginning of September the competition will become an annual event open to eligible universities and their student intake. “This decision follows strong international interest in the competition before the advent of, and disruptions caused by, Covid-19”, said LHCA.

The competition has so far been co-ordinated with industry associations in China (CLIA), Italy (UNIC), Taiwan (TILA) and the UK (Leather UK), and the LHCA said that more than 800 entries across three categories of apparel, footwear and fashion accessories were received from 25 fashion and design colleges and universities in those countries. The first round of judging has been completed in China and Taiwan, while Italy is now working on the design phase and the first round judging is to be completed in July. Entrants in the UK and Italy will be invited to join the 2021 competition format. 

“Promoting and spreading knowledge about leather among young people and, in particular, among young people who are entering the world of fashion and design, is a goal that UNIC has pursued with strong determination for years”, said Fulvia Bacchi, General Manager, Italian Tanners Association (UNIC). “It is therefore with enthusiasm that we have joined the ‘Real Leather. Stay Different.’ design competition.”