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Leathersellers’ Awards at De Montfort University

The Leathersellers and De Montfort University have a long-standing partnership supporting leather education and recognising the achievements of students working and designing with leather.

This year’s Leathersellers’ Design Awards were open to all students across the Schools of Fashion & Textiles, and Art, Design & Architecture, and incorporated project submissions where leather has been used as an imaginative and creative solution to design challenges.

Students were encouraged to showcase the material benefits of leather including its strength, durability and sustainability. This could incorporate up-cycling of existing leather or amalgamations of the old, new or futuristic. Students were asked to submit entries into themes of:

  • Aesthetic Innovation
  • Technological enhancement
  • Leather as a sustainable material
  • Minimal waste
  • Collaborative option (cross disciplinary)
  • Medical Application (prosthetics etc)

Judge and Associate Professor at De Montfort, Gillian Proctor said: “DMU are renowned for our sustainability values and our alignment with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Worldwide, animal skins, as a by-product of the meat industry, are incinerated or buried largely due to misconceptions of their origins. We have a debt of gratitude to the companies who donate leather be it deadstock, offcuts, or whole hides to enable students to access this remarkable material. We encourage students to not only love leather but to recognise its worth and its versatility. This year’s Leathersellers’ Design Awards Winner, Brandon Carter, a vegetarian who admits to a life-long love affair with leather said: ‘A steak lasts ten minutes. A leather jacket a lifetime’.

Each year I am astounded by the creativity and innovation our students display in their execution of leather as a malleable, sustainable, seductive and incredibly versatile material. It is important for emerging designers to recognise the worth and potential that leather can offer and how much they grow to love it and recognise its potential. Our aim is to continue to inspire leather interaction and to encourage their emerging skills in potential product solutions which will ensure them a viable directional design future.”

Congratulations to Brandon Carter, Wunnai Tam, Oluwafunmilayo Ogundimu (Funmi), and Lily Evans who will receive cash prizes and certificates.


1st Prize. Brandon Carter, Fashion Design, for: “Innovative combinations and application of hides in an individual aesthetic solution.”
Joint 2nd prize: Wunnai Tam, Footwear Design, for “materials innovation and craftsmanship in manufacture”; and Oluwafunmilayo Ogundimu (Funmi), Contour Fashion, for  “Merits of sustainability, excellence in manufacture and production”. (pictured with Awards judge Charlie Laurie – centre)
3rd prize. Lily Evans, Fashion Textile Design, for “experimentation in surface materials development”.
woman holding leather sample