Arts Thread

Real Leather. Stay Different. UK Competition

Real Leather. Stay Different. UK Competition

30th Jun 2022

Winner's Announcement!



The four category winners are:

Apparel Category: Oriol Clavell Sansalvador from London College of Fashion, UAL, UK for Epentismo

Footwear Category: Anna Melegh from London College of Fashion, UAL, UK for Haute Couture Trash

Accessories: Hanzhi Tang from Royal College of Art, UK, for Fusion

People’s Choice: Abigail Hobbs from Loughbourough University, UK, for Ontogenesis


The Real Leather. Stay Different. UK Student Design Competition 2022, in association with our friends at ArtsThread, has now closed.

We have curated a shortlist of original and innovative designs from the UK and it is now your chance to vote for your favourite design for the People’s Choice Award, whose winner will win a trophy, certificate and Coffee Table Book covering the competition and their winning entry.

Click here to see the shortlist and click through to open up each portfolio of the potential winners!

Voting closes on the 25th of August.

Real Leather. Stay Different. UK Competition

We are delighted for the second year to host the UK Real Leather. Stay Diffferent Student Design Competition 2022, a search for the best of Britain’s new designers and for those who want to promote slow style and a more sustainable future for fashion.

Are you concerned about fast throwaway fashion and unsustainable materials? According to Greenpeace, synthetics - made using petrochemicals from the oil industry - now make up 60% of our clothing. These materials, which take hundreds of years to biodegrade, often lack quality and endurance, leading to nearly 1 billion items of clothing- that are typically just worn five times - being thrown away annually.

In the meantime leather, which is a natural bio produce of the dairy and meat industry, created by our growing demand for food – from burgers to milkshakes, lasts a lifetime and biodegrades quickly. But each year almost half of the world’s leather hides are just thrown away.

To encourage thinking about our planet’s future and to combat this waste, our judges are challenging you to create an original, innovative and visually stunning design, in one of three categories of apparel, accessories or footwear made from real leather. They would also like to see how entrants are approaching creating garments that will not only last, but be loved, for a lifetime.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: June 30 2022 23.59 UK Time


The Overall Winner, chosen from the three category winners by a panel of judges, will have their entry professionally made and it will form part of a capsule collection - showcasing the best talent from our competitions running in China, Taiwan, Italy and the UK Regions and those from the international competition - and unveiled at an event hosted in London in September 2022.

The overall winner will be invited to London at the organiser's expense to attend this event and the selection of the International Design Competition’s overall winner. Organisers reserve the right to host a digital event in the case of travel restrictions being in place.

Each of the three category winners and the People’s Choice winner will receive a trophy, certificate and Coffee Table Book covering the competition and including their entry.


You are asked to use leather as the inspiration for a single item, either clothing, footwear or accessories, using leather at least 50% of the item and where possible other natural materials. Furs and exotic skins are not permitted. We would like your piece to capture one or more of the facets of leather, from beauty and versatility to strength and durability.

Entries should include all these elements -

1 – Storyboards & Inspiration - minimum 2 pages

2 - Sketches, Flats, Technical Specs, and One Final Design Drawing (the item does not need to be physically made - the winner’s design will be professionally made.)

3 – Make a video! It’s optional, but we’d love to see one. A short two-minute video to introduce you and your design.

There are some practical considerations as we are looking for the designers who will start new brands, fashion movements or style trends.


Open to anyone studying art and design or has graduated from art and design higher education in the UK within the last two (2) years.

Entrants must be over 18 years old.

Entrants cannot be currently employed full-time within the creative sector.



Already got an ARTS THREAD portfolio? To enter, simply log into your account, upload your design as a new project, return to this page and select your project into the Competition box above.

New to ARTS THREAD? To enter, register to create an ARTS THREAD account and go to your email and click on the activation link sent to your email Inbox. Then log into your account, upload your project, then return to this page and select your project into the Competition box above.



Complete our online Real Leather. Say Different. UK Competition 2022 Entry Form

Please ensure you have read the Terms & Conditions for the Real Leather. Say Different. UK Competition

ENTRY: Free to apply

DEADLINE TO APPLY: June 30 2022 23.59 CET

*All entries will automatically be entered into the Real Leather. Stay Different. International competition open to students and recent graduates around the world.


Bill Amberg founded the Bill Amberg Studio in 1984. He is a global authority on architectural leatherwork and the integration of leather into interior spaces. Alongside architecture and interiors, the Bill Amberg Studio is renowned for its artisanal leather bags and accessories, with his iconic ‘Rocket Bag’ included in the permanent collection of London’s V&A and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Jens Laugesen is an award-winning Danish fashion designer, consultant and video artist who holds two master’s degrees in Fashion Management from Institut Français de La Mode in Paris and Central Saint Martins in London. With over 20 years of experience within the international fashion industry, Jens is an experienced creative thinker, famed for his hybrid design methodologies, based on a personal “hybrid reconstruction” philosophy that focused on what fashion would be after de-construction.

Ruth Glen runs a London-based studio working with an extensive team of industry department experts. They specialise in design, product development and the making of bespoke pieces. Following specialist training at Cordwainers College and thirty-five years in the industry, Ruth’s experience has extended across the private, commercial and public sectors, working closely with UK and international designers from High Street to Couture.

Suzie Fletcher is an English Master Saddle Maker who specialises in the design and manufacture of English saddles. Herself a keen rider, Suzie focuses on the hard to fit horse and the female rider. Alongside the equestrian interest of her business, Suzie repairs and restores all kinds of leather items including furniture from the 1950’s to present day. With her eye for design and belief in preservation and restoration she spends her time working on a wide variety of items.

All winners will be notified by email by 15 July 2022.

There will also be a People’s Choice award, selected by public vote by the 15 July 2022.


Real Leather. Stay Different is a global campaign that last year reached some 750 million people around the globe. It makes the case for leather and other natural materials, and for making the best use of society’s waste, particularly the hides that are by-products of the dairy and meat industries, before looking to the petrochemical industries for manmade materials. Flexible and durable, leather is part of a more natural alternative to ‘fast fashion’. is a place for inspiration, information, and creativity with contributors ranging from craftspeople to designers, stylists, and photographers to retailers talking about leather and debating the future of fashion and sustainability.