The competition is open to students currently in higher education, or students who have graduated in the past year. Entrants can submit designs in one of three categories of footwear, apparel and accessories before the deadline of June 30, 2023.

The 2023 competition will end with the international finals in October 2023 in the European fashion capital of Milan, Italy. Finalists will present their designs to a judging panel including celebrity stylist Mike Adler and 2022 winner Gal Benjamin.

Category winners, including the People’s Choice winner, will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to the finals where the overall winner will be crowned. All finalists will have their designs professionally made, joining a capsule collection showcasing the best international talent.

Steve Sothmann, President of the Leather and Hide Council of America, said: “We are delighted to support the third year of the Real Leather. Stay Different. International Student Design Competition and are pleased to see it fast gaining a reputation for being the pre-eminent competition for young designers.

“Our mission is to cut waste. As a by-product of the meat and dairy industries, we believe that fashion has a responsibility to make use of hides that currently go to landfill, reducing reliance on environmentally costly plastic, synthetics and pleathers and the industries that support them.”

As well as the international competition, RLSD operates regional competitions in Mainland China, the UK, Taiwan, and the Nordics. The Philippines was added as an additional competition for 2023.