Inaugural Mr. Leather 64TEN Contest is March 11-13

Fri. March 11, 2016 8:35 AM by Ross Forman

Chicago, IL - The inaugural Mr. Leather 64TEN Contest is part of a three-day leather-filled weekend (March 11-13), featuring a stage contest, multiple parties and more. It's an event 15-years in the making.

Eric Kugelman – who is the event's executive producer and co-founder, and the owner of Leather 64TEN – represented Mephisto's Leather from Sydney Australia in the 2001 IML Competition. "The experience had a profound effect on my life, so I wanted to let another individual have a similar life-changing experience," he said. 

Kugelman picked Justin St. Clair in 2007 to represent Mephisto's Leather NA, and he placed in the top 20. After several years, inspired by the Mr. Chicago Leather Contest, Kugelman decided to pick Michael Pacas to represent Leather 64TEN at IML 2015 as the first Mr. Leather 64TEN.

After his stellar performance Todd Davidson met Eric in the hallway at the contest to discuss taking the title to the next step. An exploratory committee consisting of Michael Pacas, Todd Davidson, Slade Travis and Kugelman, with his husband Michael, decided to turn the title into a full contest. 

"The history books will reflect the rest of the tale," he said.

Kugelman, 52, who lives in Edgewater/ Rogers Park, is naturally thrilled for the contest, which has a volunteer staff of more than 25, with countless special events associated with the contest, such as a performance of the Star-Spangled Banner by Woody Woodruff, IML 2011. There also will be "sexy and sultry" performances by Lila Starr, Ms. Latina Continental 2015, Kugelman said.

The contest winner will receive passage to IML 2016, including housing and $200 meal allowance, $1,000 in custom leather from Leather 64TEN, admission to CLAW 2016, a MAL 2017 package, a $500 gift basket, and much, much more.

The winner will represent Leather 64TEN at IML in May.

The judges for the Mr. Leather 64TEN Contest include Michael Pacas, Justin St. Clair, Dan Ronneberg and Tinac Mackay.

"The Winner of Mr. Leather 64TEN is expected to show a passion for leather and a commitment to promoting the community in a positive and educational manner," Kugelman said. 

There will be a raffle on March 11 during the Meet & Greet portion of the contest and all proceeds are being split between The Leather Archives and Museum and the Center on Halsted Youth Program. "The winner also is expected to fundraise during their title year for respected charities of their choice," Kugelman said.

"We have done a complete remodel of the work area of Leather 64TEN in preparation to welcome contestants and volunteers into our family. We also will be completing a renovation of the lower level of Leather 64TEN to create a new retail space that will be open prior to IML 2016."

For ticket and full event information, go to its website: All events will take place at either Leather64Ten (6410 N. Clark St.) or Jackhammer Complex (6406 N. Clark St.).