2011 ACE Awards: Accessories on the Purple Carpet

Frank Zambrelli with Karen Giberson, president of the Accessories Council

New York—For most high wattage events, celebrities pose for photographers in front of a stand and repeat backdrop while standing on the proverbial red carpet.

But at the recent 15th annual ACE Awards by the Accessories Council, the glitterati from the worlds of fashion, entertainment and retailing converged on the purple carpet, the event’s theme color that bathed the interior at Cipriani New York on 42nd Street.

Influencer of the Year: Nicole Richie

That carpet of a different color proved apropos since unlike many fashion industry events, the focus was wholly on accessories, not designer brand gowns (although there were plenty of notable examples.)

Influencer Award recipient Nicole Richie sported a clutch, ring and earrings from her House of Harlow 1960 collection. Rebecca Minkoff, winner of the Breakthrough Award, toted along a handbag of her own design, of course.

Shoe superstar Christian Louboutin, who presented Kate Betts with the Mary Lou Luther Journalism Award, was happy to talk shoes, until press began asking about his red sole trademark battle with Yves Saint Laurent. “It’s not the night to speak of something that’s a little bit annoying,” he told one reporter.

Model Petra Nemcova, who presented Georgina Chapman and Karen Craig of Marchesa with the Brand Launch Award

Fair enough (the people watching and networking more than made up for any minor annoyances though).

Admittedly, some of the 500 guests were disappointed that Designer of the Year recipient, famed millinery designer Philip Treacy didn’t reprise one of his now world famous Royal Wedding creations.

Spotlight on Accessories

Perhaps Frank Fialkoff, ceo at Miriam Haskell and winner of the Business Visionary Award, had on his arm what might have been the very best accessory when he walked the purple carpet: designer Diane von Furstenberg.

In addition the showcase on accessories, the evening also had its share of free business advice, courtesy of some of the award winners.

Nina Garcia, Richard Graziano

“Work really hard. When I was just starting out, I worked day and night,” advised Temple St. Clair, Hall of Fame honoree. “You’ve just got to keep it simple, keep humble and persevere.”

Or this from Mindy Grossman, ceo at HSN, which was named E-tailer of the Year: “Life is never easy for those who dream.”

Other companies receiving recognition for their role in accessories included, eyewear designer Robert Marc, recipient of the Visionary Award, Marie Claire, Magazine of the Year, and Tourneau, Specialty Retailer, and Marchesa, Brand Launch.

Elaine Gold, Drew Pizzo

The one who probably summed up best was the evening’s entertainer, rapper Flo Rida who performed his hit song: “Good Feeling.”

Evan Mittman, Mary Bell

Lori and Felix Porcaro

Christian Louboutin

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