2015 Independent Handbag Designer Awards

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The 2015 Independent Handbag Designer Awards are next week, June 17th, 2015, and will be held at the School of the Visual Arts Theatre in NYC (333 W 23rd Street) at 8 pm. I am ecstatic that I will have the privilege to attend this prestigious ceremony. If anyone would actually like to attend, you can too as well! Click here to purchase tickets!

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Founded in 2007 by Handbag Designer 101, the IHDAs were created to celebrate handbag design and creativity from around the world. The IHDA is the only international design competition of its kind, receiving lots of great press over the years, and and is a platform for putting new designer talent on the map. Now in its ninth year, it is an industry staple responsible for high profile collaborations and hundreds of success stories.

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This year, Rebecca Minkoff will be honored with the 2015 ICONOCLAST Award. 40 finalists in 8 categories will be present. Huge prizes are at stake, such as a feature in the September issue of InStyle (Event Sponsor), potential partnerships¬† with Guess, MaryKay Cosmetics, and Trina Turk. Also, the “Best Overall” will receive a feature on the digital e-commerce platform EVINE Live.

Here are the 2015 finalists across the 8 categories — (all pictures in order of listing for each category)

The EVINE Live Best Handbag in Overall Style & Design —
Best executed handbag overall in style and design

BestOverall_ELLIAWANGBestOverall_MandyChangBestOverall_CARMENCHENWU

The EVINE Live Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design – These bags represent the best-executed handbag in overall style and design. Winner will receive a booth at WWDMAGIC, a mentorship with Hilldun and a brand consultancy with the Accessory Think Thank. The winner will also garner the opportunity to have their line sold on EVINE Live, a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council and a feature in the September issue of InStyle.

BestOverall_AlexaJayBestOverall_CarlaLopez

The Trina Turk Best Studentmade Handbag

BestStudentMade_LauraSabolichBestStudentMade_GRIPHandbagsBestStudentMade_NathaliaJacques

Students who started a line while in school. Winner will receive a coveted apprenticeship with famed designer, Trina Turk and Signal Brands. Winner will receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council and also be part of the IHDA feature in the September issue of InStyle.

BestStudentMade_Angie.BaeBestStudentMade_TimsonRad

Bernina Best Hand-Made Handbag —
Made with any material where the designer is making their bag by sewing machine or by hand

BestHandmade_KaboLeatherBestHandmade_deWolfeBestHandmade_ChristinaChi

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 receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council and also be part of the IHDA feature in the September issue of InStyle.

BestHandmade_SatayaBestHandmade_WILLaCYbyKamilahWillacy

Klean Kanteen Best Green Handbag —
Bags that are made out of sustainable, recycled or organic materials

BestGreen_GUNASBestGreen_ReWilderBestGreen_JanisLeeNewYork

Winner will have the opportunity to work with Klean Kanteen, a year-long membership to the Accessories Council and will be part of the IHDA feature in the September issue of InStyle.

BestGreen_IanJamesBestGreen_Deneau

Fashion 4 Development 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 their lives and/or conditions

MostResponsible_DOIZPEMostResponsible_FortezaMostResponsible_Leonor

Winner will receive a feature with Fashion 4 Development. Winner will receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council and also be part of the IHDA feature in the September issue of InStyle.

MostResponsible_O'EclatDesignsMostResponsible_EileenGarcia

Distinctly Denim by Guess Handbags — Sketch Based Category
The most trend driven use of denim, in a playful and imaginative way by embracing the personality of the brand

Guess_MaryLai_HandbagAwards2015Guess_CarmenNieto_HandbagAwards2015Guess_AliciaRojas_HandbagAwards2015

Winner will garner an amazing opportunity to have their bag sold on Guess.com, work alongside our handbag designer based in Florence, Italy, receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council and receive a feature in the September issue of InStyle. We are partnering with the Guess Foundation to donate a portion of the proceeds of the winning bag to the social service agency Peace Over Violence. Its mantra: Make a social statement with your fashion statement. And wear denim for a purpose.

Guess_ClairePatrick_HandbagAwards2015Guess_TessaSpielhofer_HandbagAwards2015

The Standout & Look Great Work Bag by MOO — Sketch Based Category
Creating the unisex bag for professionals on the go. Business does not have to be boring.

MOO_JenniferHamley_HandbagAwards2015MOO_MingjungKim_HandbagAwards2015MOO_Breul_HandbagAwards2015

The category winner will receive MOOlah with which to create business stationery, promotional materials, and merchandising assets. The Designer and bag will be showcased on moo.com materials, and merchandising assets. The Designer and bag will be showcased on moo.com and the category promoted on moo.com, owned social channels, and Handbag Designer 101. The Winner will receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council and also be part of the IHDA feature in the September issue of InStyle.

MOO_EricaHarel_HandbagAwards2015MOO_HebeRose_HandbagAwards2015

The MARYKAY Most Irresistible Makeup Bag — Sketch Based Category
The most versatile and stylish makeup bag that every woman will want.

MaryKay_AmySteele_HandbagAwards2015MaryKay_TIKA_HandbagAwards2015MaryKay_CarlaLopez_HandbagAwards2015

Winner will have an amazing opportunity to work on Mary Kay projects and have their bag featured on global MaryKay.com’s and social media platforms. Winner will receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council and also be part of the IHDA feature in the September issue of InStyle.

MaryKay_AlyssaF_HandbagAwards2015MaryKay_Mondrina_HandbagAwards2015_1

The 2015 preliminary judges panel is made up of the top industry influencers and bloggers —

  • Colin McDonald — NYC PR firm owner
  • Nancy Forman — owner & operator of The Accessory Think Tank
  • Lolita Alford — Social media marketing whiz
  • Emma Grady — personal stylist and award winning fashion writer
  • Lois Sakany — Founder & editor of TheSnobette
  • Samia Grand Pierre — Editor of TheSnobette
  • Celia San Miguel — Bilingual style & beauty expert
  • Dawn Del Russo — stylist, on-air fashion expert and tv personality, recently seen on Glamour Magazine show “Dressed to Kill”
  • Pamela Pekerman — fashion and lifestyle expert
  • Grace Gold — multimedia beauty journalist
  • Lidia Z. — founder of StylingOn
  • Adriana Marie Quaranto — started a new company called AMCONYC which is the go-to platform for emerging designers, millennials and entrepreneurs
  • Carey Reilly — Comedian, TV Host, and Actress

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So make sure to tweet or message to any brands you know a congrats for making it as a finalist and send them encouraging words to wish them luck for next week! In the meantime, check out pictures from last year’s ceremony and who the finalists and winners were last year. From Fashion Nexus, GOOD LUCK to all of the designer finalists this year as I am a huge supporter of independent and/or emerging fashion designers!

Remember, click here to purchase tickets!

This year’s sponsors are — InStyle, Guess, Rebecca Minkoff, Trina Turk, Signal Brands, Bernia, EVINE Live, Moo, Mary Kay, Klean Kanteen, Fashion 4 Development, Basic Adhesives Leather, Affinia, Garment District NYC, Pantone, WWD Magic, Hilldun, Leather Suede Skins, Bottomless Closet, Tassen Museum, The Fashion Class, Save the Garment Center, Accessory Think Tank, & Accessories Council.