International Mr. Leather 2008 – The Numbers tell the Tale
XXX Roman numeral for 30. This year’s International Mr. Leather (IML) Contest Weekend was the 30th-anniversary event. (You thought XXX was the rating for the weekend’s activities? Pure coincidence.)
2,019 Number of rooms in the Chicago Hyatt Regency Hotel. Setting a record, IML filled them all.
51 Number of contestants this year.
23 Number of states represented by contestants. (Minnesota, alas, was not among them.)
1,382 Number of contestants IML has seen in the past 30 years.
30 Number of years it took to have a contestant in a wheelchair roll across the IML stage: Contestant Number 33, Richard Hubley, Mr. Leather Ottawa 2008.
400 Approximate number of audience members for the first IML Contest in 1979.
12 Number of contestants in the first IML contest in 1979.
15,000 (or more) Approximate number of attendees for IML Weekend in 2008.
11 Number of contestants from outside the United States (four from Canada, three from Germany, two from the United Kingdom, and one each from Denmark and Sweden). That was more than 20 percent of the contestants, so IML truly can claim to be an international event.
5 Number of International Mr. Bootblack contestants. Winner was Boot Dog, from Castro Valley, California, sponsored by Alameda County Leather Corps.
70,000 Square feet of space occupied by the Leather Market.
$3,200 Price of IML 30 winner’s ring by Juan Ponce. White gold, black diamonds, white diamonds, Ceylon sapphires, and Burmese heart-shaped ruby. Very limited edition. Ponce also makes a similar leather pride ring. He has many other unique jewelry offerings. www.jewelrybyponceportland.com.
125 Number of vendors in the Leather Market.
11 IML titleholders from past years on hand for this year’s festivities—including outgoing IML 2007, Mikel Gerle (right).
160 Length in feet of the Hyatt Regency’s bar known as Big, centerpiece of what was, for the weekend anyway, the largest leather bar in the universe. (It’s the longest freestanding bar in North America. And trust me, the bar really is there behind all those people.)