Annual competition launches with future-first, slow fashion message – showcasing the next generation of global design talent that champions ‘slow fashion’ through use of long-lasting natural leather products.

  •   After a record-breaking 2022 with entries from more than 40 countries, the competition that invites designers to ‘think natural’ and challenge the fast fashion cycle is back.
  •   European fashion capital Milan to play host to the international finals in October 2023.
  •   Create a profile and enter now at To view last year’s shortlisted entries and winning designs visit

The Real Leather. Stay Different. International Student Design Competition, in partnership with Arts Thread, is back with its mission to discover and showcase a new generation of designers who promote slow style and a more sustainable future through the use of long-lasting natural materials.

The competition is open to students in higher education or who have graduated in the past year.  Students can enter designs in one of three categories of footwear, apparel and accessories, via, with entries closing at midnight [GMT] on June 30, 2023.

2022 judge, Christopher Körber, Managing Director of Hugo Boss commented:

“It was a truly rewarding experience to see so much new talent from around the world.  But more than that it was inspiring to see how the next generation is approaching the reduction of waste in the fashion cycle, from material selection to the production process itself.  I would encourage those with a vision for a more sustainable future to enter today.”

Alex Brownless, Co-Founder & President of competition partner Arts Thread said:

“It’s great to, once again, support this competition. Not only is it a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their talent but it also highlights the critical need to look again at the threat of fast fashion to the planet and people. To support life-long careers in fashion, entrants this year will also be given a profile on Arts Thread promoting their work to an international audience of industry movers and shakers.”

Moving on from the 2022 venue London, the 2023 finals will be held in fashion capital Milan this October. Finalists will present their designs to a judging panel including celebrity stylist Mike Adler and Gal Benjamin, the 2022 winner, who saw off competition from nearly 2000 entrants representing more than 130 colleges in 40 countries.  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.

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