< Back to all competitions 20242023

Africa Talent Leather Design Showcase


We are delighted, for the second year, to host the Real Leather. Stay Different. Africa Talent Leather Design Showcase 2024, a search for the most talented of Africa’s designers working with leather and natural materials.

This annual event shines a spotlight on the finest emerging talent among designers in Africa who specialise in leather and natural materials, while promoting slow style and a more sustainable future for fashion and the planet.

Are you passionate about protecting our planet? We invite you to take a stand against the rapid consumption model of disposable fashion. Join us in our quest to protect the environment and build a sustainable fashion sector in Africa that can lead the world.

We know time is short. According to NGO Greenpeace, 60% of our clothing is now made from oil-based synthetics. A typical garment being worn just five times before disposal. The waste this creates and the damage it causes are catastrophic. Clothing dumps are now visible from space. Imagine that.

It’s time to eradicate the fast fashion business model once and for all, and support nature by designing beautiful, durable clothes from natural fibres that people will want to wear longer – and which will last a lifetime.

Leather, a natural by-product of the food industry, offers a sustainable alternative that can produce long-lasting items. Despite its potential, roughly 40% of the world’s cattle hides are discarded annually. 

Organized by Real Leather. Stay Different., in collaboration with the Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI), the showcase offers a straightforward online entry process. Design submissions are open from March 20th, 2024 and will run up to June 7th, 2024 at midnight BST. ALLPI will conduct an introductory webinar on May 20th, 2024, to launch the Showcase and the campaign.

Publicity: All exhibitors and their works will gain exposure in Africa and internationally through various media and marketing channels, including chooserealleather.com.


You are invited to submit an innovative, visually compelling design in one of the three categories of apparel, accessories, and footwear.

Designs must comprise at least 50% cow hide leather, with a preference for natural or organic materials. The use of fur or exotic skins is prohibited, as is the use of plastics, except where no natural alternatives exist. Entries should highlight the various qualities of leather, such as its beauty, versatility, strength, and durability.

Whilst the desire is to discover great talent and beautiful design, you are asked to think about the ease of production, the commercial appeal of the item, its durability and, critically, its ability to represent true style – and stand outside of the fast fashion cycle of design and dispose.

Consideration should also be given to the item’s disposal, can it be simply repurposed or upcycled to give it a new life, can it be taken apart to recycle elements?

Entries will benefit from photography of the items bringing this to life for judges, however stand-alone designs and illustrations are also accepted.

Up to fifteen designs will be featured in the showcase, representing the pinnacle of Africa’s creativity as selected by an international panel of curators.


Submissions must include:

  1. A brief description of the item and its development process in English.
  2. Storyboards and design inspiration detailing the concept and rationale behind the creation.
  3. Sketches, flats, technical specifications, and final design and/or photographs if the item has already been produced (physical production is not mandatory at this stage).
  4. The physical product submission will run up to August 12th, 2024. The submission requirements for the physical product are as per the Real Leather. Stay Different. Africa Talent Leather Design Showcase 2024 Terms & Conditions.
  5. An optional short video introducing the designer and the design.



Selected designers will be awarded an Exhibitor’s Certificate, cash prizes, and have their work featured in RLSD Africa’s Talent Leather Design Showcase 2024 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. One designer will be awarded a trophy and feature as part of a capsule collection showcasing the best international talent in Europe [October 2024], with travel and accommodation expenses covered by the organizers.


Working with our partners at Arts Thread to develop lifelong learning and career opportunities for students of fashion and design. Our partnership provides the opportunity to compete on a world stage, participate in industry led workshops, set up an outstanding portfolio and gain access to the resources that will kickstart careers in fashion and design.