REAL LEATHER. STAY DIFFERENT. Campaign Reveals Winner of the Inaugural International Student Design Competition: Emily Omesi from the FIT, NYC

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LONDON, Oct. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The winner of the inaugural Real Leather. Stay Different. International Student Design Competition, in association with ArtsThread and Rollacoaster magazine – and funded by the Leather & Hide Council of America – has been announced.

Rollacoaster AW21 Magazine Cover

Emily Omesi, a BFA undergraduate of Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City (FIT NYC), has won with her thought-provoking leather jacket design entitled ‘Bacterial Genetics’, inspired by scans of infectious diseases.

The judging panel included Katie Greenyer of the Pentland Group, Mike Adler, Fashion Stylist, and Milan Miladinov, Art Director at Rollacoaster magazine. Commenting on her win, Emily, said:

“I love working with leather – there is truly no other material like it. Its durable and can last the wearer a lifetime but is also very delicate to sew. Handling leather takes patience and practice – similar to creating a sculpture. Every leather hide is unique, which makes the process that much more special.”

The competition attracted nearly 400 entries from 117 colleges, representing 58 nationalities from 36 countries.  It encourages the use of leather to deliver a more sustainable future – and the next generation of designers to think ‘slow fashion’.

With clients including Glenn Close, Josh O’Connor, Maisie Williams, Elizabeth Hurley, Emma Corrin and Monica Bellucci, judge Mike Adler commented:

This jacket is not only super editorial but its modern and futuristic design easily translates into music and celebrity styling as well as the retail space. We need new designers who will challenge the norm; and can combine sustainability with high fashion effortlessly. Emily has delivered on all these points.”

The other four finalists were Alice Morgan (University of Derby, UK), Meghan Beattie (Birmingham City University, UK), Teresita Marrero Escalona (Universidad del Azuay, Ecuador) and Nathalie Hauser (Kolding School of Design, Denmark). Their entries ranged from delicate silver and leather jewellery to intricate patchwork, shape-defining handbags, and extravagant costume designs.

The competition encourages future talent to work with natural, sustainable, responsibly produced leather in categories of apparel, footwear or accessories, using at least 50% leather. The judges wanted to see pieces that will not only last but will be loved, for a lifetime.

Emily’s design has been professionally made and features on the AW21 cover of international fashion magazine, Rollacoaster, modelled by Sano Turdiev.


Jasmine Khaliq

[email protected]

+44 7940283599

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