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Taiwan Region Student Design Competition


We are delighted for the fifth year to host the Taiwan Real Leather. Stay Different. Student Design Competition 2024, a search for the best of Taiwan new designers and for those who want to promote slow style and a more sustainable future for fashion both in Taiwan and around the world. In that time, we have welcomed thousands of entrants for our regional competitions and seen Taiwan’s finalists attend the international final events across Europe.

Are you ready to join the fight against fast fashion and for the planet? Time is short…. According to Greenpeace synthetics – which are made from oil – now make up 60% of our clothing and the average item is worn just five times. These clothes are then discarded, resulting in huge dumps, notably in Ghana and Chile, that are visible from space. It’s time to challenge the fast fashion business model and all those who say no to nature by designing beautiful, durable clothes from natural fibres that people will want to wear longer, and that will last longer.

In the meantime, leather, a natural by-product of the dairy and meat industries and our growing demand for food — from burgers to milkshakes, can be used to make items that last a lifetime and, when disposed of, biodegrade quickly. Leather is a perfect solution to one of fashion’s biggest problems, but each year almost half of the world’s cattle hides are just thrown away.

To encourage thinking about our planet’s future and to combat this waste, our high- profile judges representing brands recognised around the world 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 cattle leather. They would also like to see how entrants approach creating garments that will not only last, but be loved, for a lifetime.

The competition opens March 1, 2024, and closes on May 11, 2024. Any entries submitted after that date will not be accepted.


You are asked to use leather as the inspiration for a single item, either clothing, shoes, or accessories. Entries must be at least 50% cattle hide leather and any other materials used must be natural or organic materials where possible. We do not accept the use of fur or exotic skins. Plastics must only be used where no natural alternatives are available. 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 the following elements:

  1. A brief summary of your project provided in Mandarin and English
  2.  Storyboards and design inspiration
  3.  Sketches, flats, technical specifications, and final design (the item does not need to be physically made at this stage) 
  4. A short two-minute video to introduce you and your design. This is optional but encouraged, as it would make a great addition to your entry


Please give consideration to ease of recycling, reuse and disposal at the end of the product’s life, and also think about the practicalities of commercial production, as we are looking for designers who will start new brands, fashion movements or style trends. 

A shortlist of the best entries will be presented to the judges, and the finalists will be asked to create their designs for the final judging element. The materials will be provided by the Taiwan Regional Association of Tanneries.


Please note: All entries will automatically be entered into the Real Leather. Stay Different International Student Design Competition, which will require the student to provide an English description for their entry.


Each of the three category winners will receive a trophy, a cash prize [amount to be determined by the regional organisers], certificate and Coffee Table Book covering the competition and including their entry.

The People’s Choice Award winner will receive a trophy, certificate and Coffee Table Book covering the competition and including their entry. 

The overall winning design will be sampled and produced in Taiwan, to form part of a capsule collection showcasing the best international talent and unveiled at a final event hosted in October 2024. The overall winner will be offered the opportunity to attend the International Student Design Competition final event to see their design on display [airfare and accommodation expenses will be covered by the organisers].


Yu Chun Chen / Metel Work Artist and Curator

Yu Chun Chen studied metalwork and working in Italy for six years, and obtained a Master’s degree in Applied Arts, at Sandberg Institute in the Netherlands. She exhibited her works in galleries and exhibitions around the world, with the eastern and the western cultures she experienced in her education often visible her work. In 2012, she returned to Taiwan and continued to create jewelry while actively curating exhibitions. Following this she founded and managed Mano Contemporary Jewelry Gallery until 2017, while continuing to create works and collaborate with different organizations on curation.


Yuan-Chin Lin / Fashion designer

Yuan-Chin interned for many independent designers including Peter Pilotto, Giles, Marios Schwab while on her break from college as well as assisting on various projects including collaborations with Acne and Swarovski. After relocation in Taipei, she worked for Makalot Industrial CO as the women’s Ready-to-Wear team leader for 4 years. Yuan-Chin co-founded Alufai Studio in 2019, the brand has a rebellious yet romantic image and draws from her wealth of experience. The brand was soon nominated for the 7th Asia Fashion Collection award in Tokyo and selected for the Lane Crawford x Labelhood Shanghai list.


Rachel Chang / Fashion Footwear Design

Recipient of the British Footwear Association (BFA) Award, Rachel Chang is a graduate of the Fashion Footwear Design department at the Royal College of Art (RCA) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Footwear Design from De Montfort University (DMU) in the UK. Rachel specializes in footwear design, focusing on exploring the construction and engineering of shoes, creating pieces that seamlessly integrate with the space around the feet and the body. Known for her interdisciplinary collaborations, she infuses elements of style into diverse fields. Rachel’s work has been exhibited worldwide at London Fashion Week, Christie’s, Design Museum in London, and H&M in Stockholm, Sweden. She continues to innovate and is the founder of the mini-shoemaker footwear teaching brand, inspiring the next generation of designers.


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.