‘Real Leather. Stay Different.’ Design Competition Kicks Off in the United Kingdom
Global competition celebrates the versatility, beauty and sustainability of U.S. hides and leather
Washington, DC, March 12, 2020 – Real Leather. Stay Different., the worldwide campaign that celebrates the versatility, beauty and sustainability of U.S. leather, announced the launch of its first-ever Global Design Competition in the United Kingdom. The competition, which is co-organized by the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) and Leather UK, will provide an exciting forum for design students from prestigious British design universities to develop and produce trend-setting, inventive and inspiring leather consumer products.
“Through the Real Leather. Stay Different. Global Design Competition, consumers around the world are increasingly realizing the impeccable quality, durability and sustainability of U.S.-sourced leather,” said LHCA President Stephen Sothmann. “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with our colleagues in the UK to support the next generation of British designers in their quest to design versatile, beautiful leather products that consumers love.”
“British designers are some of the most ingenious trendsetters in the fashion world,” said Leather UK Director Kerry Senior. “Our collaboration with the Leather and Hide Council of America provides a unique opportunity to showcase the enviable qualities that make leather timeless by providing young British designers a forum to develop chic leather goods that reflect their individuality and vision.”
Design students participating in the competition will feature U.S. hides and leather in their designs across several categories: apparel, footwear and fashion accessories. Students are encouraged to showcase their individuality by using leather to create unique, compelling designs that appeal to style-conscious fashion consumers. Leather can be used exclusively or in combination with other natural materials suggested by contestants, but must be the principal material of the final good produced.
Five respected design universities in the UK have agreed to participate in the competition: The University of South Wales, The University of Northampton, The London College of Fashion, Manchester Metropolitan University and De Montfort University.
Competition entries must include concept sketches, a technical drawing with detailed specifications and an illustration showcasing from where students drew their inspiration. Entrants will also have to produce a prototype of their design for the final judging stage, which will take place in May 2020. Participants will be assessed on the innovative, visually appealing style of their entries.
The winners in each category will receive an all-expenses paid training opportunity in the U.S., sponsored by LHCA. Runners-up in each category will receive a free, one-week Creative Leather Applications course at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies at the University of Northampton. Plus, an opportunity to win a week’s work experience at one of the UK’s biggest fashion houses, Mulberry, will be decided through a public vote via Woobox on the Real Leather. Stay Different Facebook page.
Real Leather. Stay Different. design competitions are simultaneously occurring in China and Taiwan. Photos, interviews and videos detailing the progress of the global competition will be featured on our Facebook page and on https://chooserealleather.com/.
Formed by the 2020 merger of the United States Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) and Leather Industries of America (LIA), the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) is a full-service industry trade association representing the entire U.S. leather supply chain, including meatpackers, hides and skins processors, traders, leather tanners, finished leather goods producers, footwear companies, chemical suppliers, machinery producers, trade media and market reporters, freight forwarders, transportation service providers, financial institutions and more. The association provides its members with government, public relations, and international trade assistance and support. LHCA is a cooperator organization under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s foreign market development programs, assisting U.S. firms develop new markets for U.S. agricultural exports. LHCA is at the forefront of the industry’s needs, providing members with education and technical information to compete in today’s global marketplace.
About Leather UK
Leather UK is committed to protecting the unique identity of leather as a sustainable and beautiful product and working together as one united sector to promote the UK leather brand at home and abroad. Leather UK supports the whole of the leather supply chain, from processing raw hides to producing leather goods, and all businesses that work intrinsically within the leather industry. Leather UK’s members include tanneries, leather finishers, leather merchants, service providers, manufacturers, leather goods producers, students and anyone else working within the leather sector. Leather UK also works at the international level through membership of the EU leather association, COTANCE, and its role as the secretariat for the International Council of Tanners.