New York—For those in handbags—especially emerging designers/brands—it’s the most anticipated event of the year. On Wednesday, the winners of the 2014 Eighth Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA) were revealed at the School of Visual Arts Theatre.
Sponsored by Handbag Designer101, the IHDA presents named in eight categories. John Edwards of Florian London received the award for Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design who was also the winner of the InStyle.com, the Audience Fan Favorite, receiving over 49% of the votes.
In other honors, Monica Botkier of Botkier was given the Iconoclast Award for Lifetime Achievement in Handbag Design by Roxanne Robinson, senior accessories editor of Women’s Wear Daily.
Other industry notables in attendance included Cindy Weber-Cleary, fashion director of InStyle; Deborah Lloyd of Kate Spade New York; Lauren Bush Lauren of FEED; Carlos Falchi; Suesan Falkner of Guess and Fashion Accessories Director Erica Russo of Bloomingdale’s
The winning handbags will be featured in the September issue of InStyle. Winners include:
Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design–These bags represent the best-executed handbag in overall style and design. The Winner will receive a booth at WWDMAGIC and the opportunity to have their line carried at Bloomingdale’s.
Winner: John Edwards, Florian London
The InStyle.com Audience Fan Favorite – InStyle.com’s online audience voted on Finalists’ bags with the Winner receiving more77, 000 votes of the 160,000 votes cast.
Winner: John Edwards, Florian London.
The Optitex Best Student Made Handbag – Designed by students, these bags were all created during their education.
Winner: Morgan Richards, Morgan Rhea, The Savannah College of Art and Design
The Bernina Best Handmade Handbag–Made by hand, machine sewn, crocheted or knitted, the winner will receive the Bernina 560 sewing machine (with a retail value of $5,000.) In addition, the winner will have the opportunity to be an “Ambassador for Bernina” creating blogs and projects for Bernina’s social media and We All Sew Blog.
Winner: Gili Rozin Tamam, MeDusa, Israel The Timberland Best Green Handbag
The Timberland Best Green Handbag –
Winner: Carolina Riffi Ollite-Hopman: Carat23, The Netherlands, The FEED Most
Socially Responsible Handbag – All entries meet certain ethical and moral standards in regards to production, employment and philanthropy while impacting the local culture. The winner will receive a feature on social business FEED’s website, feedprojects.com.
Winner: Monica Frisbie: Mondrina, USA, Made in Peru
Distinctly Denim by Guess Handbags–Created from sketch to actual bag these are the most trend driven – utilizing denim in a playful and imaginative way by embracing the personality of the Guess brand. The winner will garner an opportunity to have their bag sold on Guess.com, work alongside the brand’s handbag designer based in Florence, Italy. The Guess Foundation will contribute to the social service agency, Peace Over Violence, a portion of the proceeds generated through the sale of the winning bag. Its mantra: Make a social statement with your fashion statement. And wear denim for a purpose.
Winner: Tika Kuchukhidze, TIKA, Spain
The IHDA Sponsors are InStyle, Bloomingdale’s, Timberland, FEED, Bernina, Guess, Optitex, WWDMagic, AHQ: The Accessory Headquarters, The NPD Group, Garment Center Alliance, Save the Garment Center, Bottomless Closet, The Accessory Think Tank, The Lexington New York City, Leather Suede Skins, Pantone, M&J Trimming, AriZona Beverages, Zonin Prosecco, and Polkadot Cupcake Shop.
For more information on the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, check out www.thehandbagawards.com.