Based on the theme “Real Leather. Stay Different.”, the LHCA’s “World Leather Contest” forms part of an international programme aimed at promoting the values of high quality and responsibly sourced leather to the next generation of designers and crafts-persons. In its first year, the competition attracted over 800 applications from 25 international universities. Project partnerships include the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA), Taiwan Leather Industry Association (TILA), Leather UK and, now, UNIC.

Launched in Italy in January, UNIC said that almost 80 students from three different schools engaged in the project; Istituto Marangoni of Milan for the apparel category (Master in Fashion Design Womenswear and Fashion Design Meanswear); Polimoda di Firenze for the footwear category (Undergraduate in Leather Technology); and Costume and Fashion Academy of Rome for leather goods category (First Level Academic Diploma in Costume and Fashion). The students were first offered activities with leather to understand the material, the possible methods of processing and all the types of finished articles that can be made with the material. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the operational phase was done remotely and digitally. According to UNIC, the evaluation of the projects is being done online and will be completed in the coming weeks. “Due to the pandemic, the next steps are still being defined, which include the sourcing of materials, their distribution to students, the creation of prototypes, the selection of the winning models and their public exhibition during the first useful edition of Lineapelle”, said UNIC.

The LHCA has recently announced that as of September 2020, the competition will become an annual event open to eligible universities and their student intake. Read more here.