2016 IHDAs — VOTE Now!!

What handbag is the next “It” back for 2016. We will soon find out as the 2016 Independent Handbag Designer Awards are right around the corner — next week in fact! On June 15th, at the School of the Visual Arts Theater, the 10th annual IHDA ceremony will take place. With over 2000 applicants worldwide, here are the finalists for this year’s awards!

c8996488-ced3-405a-903a-aa41818d1f36InStyle is a huge sponsor and supporter of the IHDAs. The fashion publication is asking you to VOTE now for your fave handbag!! Your pick could appear in the September 2016 issue of InStyle.


This year, designers submitted their finest creations in 9 categories. Here are the categories and the finalist handbags! (Images are in order of each list above)

THE EVINE LIVE BEST HANDBAG IN OVERALL STYLE & DESIGN — Winner will have the coveted opportunity to sell their bags on the exclusive shopping channel EVINE Live. Winner will also receive a booth at ENK’s Accessorie Circuit, a mentorship with Hilldun, a brand consultancy with the Accessory Think Tank, and a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council.

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THE BERNINA BEST HANDMADE HANDBAG — where designer uses any material, as long as the handbag is made by sewing machine or hand. Winner will receive the BERNINA 560 sewing machine. In addition, winners will have the prestigious opportunity to be an Ambassador for BERNINA in creating blogs and projects for BERNINA social media and We All Sew Blog. Winner will also receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council.

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THE TRINA TURK BEST RESORT STYLE BAG — Where the bag matches the aesthetic and lifestyle of the Trina Turk Brand. Winner will garner the possibility to collaborate with the Trina Turk Handbag Design Team using the winning bag as inspiration, and receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council.

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THE LUG LIFE BEST STUDENT MADE HANDBAG — for designers who’ve started their handbag lines, while still in school. Winner will receive the opportunity to design and sample a limited edition collection for Lug as well as the chance to go behind the scenes at QVC to assist Lug during an airing. Winner will also receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council.

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THE MOST SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE HANDBAG — Bags that are made in a country where the proceeds are given back to the country of manufacturing or people that are employed to manufacture handbags to better lives and/or conditions. Winner will receive a feature and mentorship from Fashion 4 Development. Winner will receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council.

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THE BASIC ADHESIVES BEST GREEN HANDBAG — Where the handbag is made out of sustainable, recycled, or organic materials. Winner will have the opportunity to be a brand ambassador for the eco-industry top brand, Basic Adhesives, enough Basic Adhesives glue and edge paint for 1000 bags, and a year-long membership to the Accessories Council.


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THE MARY KAY WEAR WITH CONFIDENCE BAG — The handbag that is the most versatile and stylish, leaving every woman feeling her best and ready for anything. Winner will receive Mary Kay product and the amazing opportunity to collaborate with the brand, and a yearlong membership with the Accessories Council.

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THE ALL ABOUT THE LOGO BY GUESS HANDBAGS — Capturing the personality of the Guess Brand and logo. Winner will garner the opportunity to potentially collaborate with the Guess Handbag Design Team using the winning bag as inspiration, receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council and a feature in the September issue of InStyle.

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THE INSTYLE.COM AUDIENCE FAN FAVORITE — Remember to VOTE NOW as the winner will land a place on the InStyle pages!!

The IHDA is presented by Handbag Designer 101. Handbag Designer 101 founder is Emily Blumenthal. The organization celebrates the work of aspiring accessories designers from around the world.

If you would like to attend the ceremony, you can do so by purchasing tickets here. And amazingly enough, you can already purchase these fantastic handbags by clicking here.


An annual highlight of the awards ceremony is the recipient of the Carlos Falchi Iconoclast Award. This year’s recipient is MZ Wallace and is being presented by the Accessorie Circuit.

WCM’s Overstock Blowout Sale!

Huge sample sales and the like are all around NYC. And one such sale I’m excited to announce to my Fashion Nexus readers is from that of Roma Industries, with major brands on board such as WCM Belts, Nanette Lepore, Isaac Mizrahi, Kooba, Rochet, & more! This great sale begins today! The basics are all on the flyer below —
  • Location — 12 W 37th Street, 10th floor
  • Dates — Dec. 1 – Dec. 12
  • Times — 10am – 6pm
Overstock Sale Flyer
Roma Industries is a design, manufacture, and distribution accessory company for women and men. They work with a few major fashion brands such as Nanette Lepore, Isaac Mizrahi, & Kooba, as well as their own in-house line, WCM Belts.
So what’s in store for the masses at this major blowout — belts, bags, wallets, card cases, bracelets, scarves, gloves, jewelry, and other small leather accessories galore! Everything is up to 70% off. And if you have any questions, the # to contact is (212) 268-0723.
WCM continues to flourish as a design-based brand for the elegant, trend savvy, modern woman, cutting edge, yet maintaining a classic core. WCM is a niche of its own, tying trend to quality, uniting modern with classic, interpreting runway for the everyday.


Excited and can’t wait to check out this sale live and in person! I hope if any of you are in NYC that you can make a stop by this phenomenal sale.

Holiday Overstock Sale Photo



ENK Shows — Accessorie Circuit — 1st Time Attending for Fashion Nexus!!

There have been many firsts, fashion firsts to be specific, since I launched Fashion Nexus. I’ve always been invited and of course I’ve heard of ENK prior to last week. I was just never able to attend the multi-day event. But I’m happy to now report I HAVE! And it was such a blast! I was so excited to meet and greet new brands and even see some familiar faces from brands I already know. There was so much to see and because I saw so much this post is just the first of three. I want to go into more in-depth detail about the immaculate jewelry, high-quality accessories, and stunning apparel pieces I came across.

So 1st up, let’s take a look at some very well-crafted and well-made accessories, handbags, clutches, belts, etc., from some great brands!      





ashlyn’d I have fallen in love with this brand of unique, custom, and high quality clutches/handbags. Check out their latest collection here. You can also check out my full featured piece on ashlyn’d as well. Always impressed with each piece I see!





Botkier If you want practicality, while also feeling like a fashionista, then Botkier is the brand for that. So many options from basic handbags to satchels to totes to cross-bodies. It was a must for me to include the brand on my 4th of July piece!



Rebecca Minkoff Rebecca Minkoff is probably one of the 1st designers I met as I was developing my fashion blog. She was very kind and it was an honored experience to be in the midst of such a great talent! The brand is also no stranger to Fashion Nexus features — 4th of July piece; Jamie Chung — 2014 Coachella Best Dressed; and her Guest judge spot on Project Runway All-Stars.



Liebeskind Berlin Liebeskind is a brand that has caught my eye for some time now. Of course I made sure it was included as a featured brand on one of my “Best Dressed” lists, 2014 PCAs, Greer Grammer sporting one of the brand’s signature clutches! I’m very impressed by the many new pieces, in addition to the brand’s staple bags.





Lauren Merkin This brand is all about customizing and personalizing for the consumer. It’s hard to be disappointed when some of the design aspect is in your hands! There is definitely something for everyone — basics, fun, color, creativity & more!




WCM Belts Handbags are of course must-have accessory essentials, but so too are belts! WCM is a recent brand I’ve discovered and one I hope to stick with when it comes to features and showcasing of the brand’s design and functionality.




















The All-N-One Ashlyn’d Clutch — Fashionable, Affordable, & High Quality

979813_d2ab39a84c7211362547eda735425dcc.png_srz_p_330_160_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzWhen I’m getting ready to go out for the day or night, I plan my outfits. I think about the entire look — outfit to shoes to of course, my handbag! I assume most women also do this. For my day looks I generally use a purse. But at night, when I’m going out for drinks or dinner, or if I just don’t want to carry a heavy purse, I need that perfect clutch!


The beauty & brains behind ashlyn’d were too in search of the perfect evening bags and clutches. The ladies felt there was a lack of unique and affordable options in the marketplace. And with that, the brand was launched, almost a year ago, January 2013. Meet the ashlyn’d team:

ashleenik       Ashlee Nik — CEO & Designer; LA Native; fashion background experience from work @ J.Brand Jeans, etc.

DENISELEWINSTEIN          Denise Lewinstein                 1425477_10100177903636614_2115051064_o       Victoria Kochamba


Charlotte Anheier — Chief Marketing Officer

The overall concepts behind the brand are to “expect the unexpected” and to create bags that are unique and whimsical in nature. Also within the various collections are nature-oriented or inspired themes. With this concept, the idea was to create clutches that looked like marble, granite, wood, etc. Acrylics and exotic woods with custom finishes were used to achieve these looks. During this process, Ashlee came up with the idea of creating a “snow-globe” effect, using translucent acrylic filled with colored sand that floated. This later led to entire collection of bags filled with pearls, crystals, and much more. All of these concepts & processes lead to clutches that are both very fashionable and of course, unique! Learn more about the ashlyn’d brand here.              (Twilight — pictured below)

979813_697f705b2db2471ea71685ae6b7f6a49.jpg_srz_p_658_792_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzThe ladies are also focused on construction — using quality handcrafted goods & maintaining quality control. The whole manufacturing process is completed in Los Angeles, even the artwork, which is coordinated with LA based artists. Each bag is made with key features that every woman will appreciate — space & affordability. Each clutch has the room to fit all your necessities — phone, lipstick, credit card, ID, and much more! It was also very important to the ashlyn’d team that the clutches are reasonably priced. Big designer brand clutches, very similar to ashlyn’d, can run you anywhere from $500 to quadruple digits. The range for ashlyn’d clutches are mid $300s – mid $400s.


Best-Sellers: The Honor Roll; also Pandi & Goldy, sold nationwide @ LF Stores

There is a large list of boutiques and stores where ashlyn’d clutches can be purchased. You can email Charlotte at charlotte@ashlynd.com to locate a retailer near you! There are also international locations. But I know I have lots of readers in Cali, NYC, & my home-state, NC, so I’m looking out for all of you!

7AshlyndSS14(Sally, new for 2014, available in stores late Feb. 2014)

ashlyn’d has received a lot of great press during it’s 1-year duration. Many magazines and publications have featured the clutches. And also many celebs have chosen to complete their looks with an ashlyn’d clutch.

  • Afisha Magazine
  • Fashion Tribune
  • WhoWhatWear
  • Celebs — Maria Menounos; Shaun Robinson; Emily Deschanel; Jenna Ushkowitz; Hayden Panettiere; Rose McGowan; Crystal Reed; Debby Ryan — Just to name a few!!

maria-menounos-elle-s-annual-women-in-television-celebration-january-2014_1Shaun-Robinson-301637765th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

262d8eb7-9bdf-4a7a-ae16-3081de703ce7_451779379                 hayden-panettiere-white-house-correspondents-association-dinner-washington-pic125340

rose-mcgowan-290                                       Crystal-Reed-mdn

ok_43013_debby_ryanMake sure to contact ashlyn’d if you have any questions or if you’ve seen a clutch that you like! You can also learn more about ashlyn’d and keep updated by Liking on Facebook, Following on Twitter, Liking on Instagram, or Pinning on Pinterest! And just for fun here are a few more images of the fun and fashionable ashlyn’d clutches!!


Charlotte (astroturf w/ spider on top) & Blossom


Abby & Shelly


    Teddy — new for 2014, available in stores late Feb. 2014