New York—The Accessories Council, the not-for-profit organization dedicated to nurturing accessories design in America, once again is joining forces with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in support of the next generation of fashion designers and industry professionals by hosting its annual Next Generation Awards.
The awards program will take place at FIT on Tuesday, April 29, in the Katie Murphy Amphitheater located at 227 W. 27th Street and 7th Avenue and will feature Ulrich Grimm, creative director of Calvin Klein men’s, women’s shoes & accessories, as guest speaker.
The Accessories Council has hosted the FIT Next Generation Awards for the past 11 years honoring students who have designed outstanding accessories collections based on their school curriculum. Each year, students showcase and submit their final collections for an opportunity to be presented with a monetary award from the Accessories Council.
The awards are separated by category. This year’s categories include Fine Jewelry, Fashion Jewelry, Handbags (Evening), Handbags (Day), Millinery, Belts/Small Leather Goods, Footwear, Portfolio (including Cold Weather), and Optical.
Winners are determined by judges consisting of the event’s sponsors and leaders in the fashion, accessory and jewelry industries. Each sponsor company contributes financially, which underwrites a first and second prize for the students. Sponsors at this year’s awards include: Collection 18, FGX International, Haskell LLC, Luxottica, Monica Rich Kosann, Steve Madden, and The Jones Group.
“The association of FIT’s Accessories Design Department and the Accessories Council allows our students and the industry to connect and learn from each other,” said Sarah Mullins, chairperson of the Accessories Design Department. “Students gain an understanding of the business of accessories, while the industry gets new designers and their emerging talent.”
The Accessories Council also provides the winners’ resumes and contact information to the benefactors so they may be hired for future positions. A number of the students will go on to be hired by the brands that have participated in the event.
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