Mr popular himself, Jeffrey Payne, represented the lone star state of Texas. He swept to the top of the podium under a huge wave of Texan flags from the crowd at the Hilton Hotel (the eleventh different venue to host the contest). Jeffrey started the annual toast tradition the following year. And by touring the world extensively, he set the path for future IMLs to follow, taking their titles far and wide and doing as much good as possible along the way.
The Leather Archives and Museum announced that IML would be placed in a trust to benefit the museum. All proceeds from the event would go towards preserving leather history forever.