In What's New, Industry News by Christine Galasso


Calling all handbag designers! Handbag Designer 101, the online destination for all-things handbags, just announced the finalists for its Eleventh Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards.™

Below, a list of categories. Winners will be picked announced at the annual event on Wednesday, June 14th at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in New York City. As the brainchild of handbag designer turned curator, Emily Blumenthal, the “Handbag Awards” provides emerging designers access to business and brand-bolstering prizes, like including an opportunity to work with FujiFilm Instax Camera, Nasty Gal, Guess and more.

Now through April 22nd, designers from across the globe are invited to apply here.

This year the IHDA will honor celebrated designer Sara Naghedi of DEUX LUX, her benchmark sustainable and ethically sourced handbag and accessory line, with the 2017 Carlos Falchi IHDA ICONOCLAST Award.

All winners will receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council and will be featured in the September issue of a major magazine.

For more information, requirements and prizes, click here.

Heirloom's overall winning handbag design for IHDA

Heirloom’s overall 2016 winning handbag design for IHDA

The UBM Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design – These bags represent the best-execution in complete style and design. Winner will have the opportunity to have a 10×10 booth at Accessorie Circuit or Accessories The Show with full marketing and promotion. Winner will also receive a mentorship with Hilldun, and a brand consultancy with the Accessory Think Tank.

The AHQ Student Made Handbag –These bags were all created while the students were pupils in their chosen educational programs. Winner will receive the opportunity to work with a AHQ as a coveted design apprentice working with their esteemed brand assortment.

The BERNINA Best Handmade Handbag – Made by hand, machine sewn, crocheted or knitted, the winner of this award will receive the BERNINA 560 sewing machine. In addition, he or she will have the prestigious opportunity to act as “Ambassador” via brand social channels and the Bernina’s We All Sew blog. The selected participant will have the wonderful opportunity to represent the 120+ year old company known for quality and Tradition.

The Basic Adhesives Best Green Handbag – All bags submitted in this category are made of renewable, organic, or recycled materials. The Winner will have the opportunity to be a brand ambassador for the eco-industry top brand, Basic Adhesives and receive their branded eco-friendly glue and edge paint for 1000 bags.

The Most Socially Responsible Handbag – All entries in this category meet specific ethical and moral standards with regards to production, employment and philanthropy – all while impacting the local culture. The Winner will receive a collaboration with a major socially responsible brand.

The Young & Adventurous Lifestyle Backpack by Guess HandbagsFrom sketch to actual bag, designers need to create A unique and sexy interpretation incorporating the Guess Brand and an on trend backpack. Winner will garner the opportunity to potentially collaborate with the Guess Handbag Design Team using the winning bag as inspiration.

The Cutting Edge Bag by Nasty GalFrom sketch to actual bag, designers need to create The Bag that best represents the DNA of Nasty Gal and a #GirlBoss. Winner will garner the opportunity to potentially collaborate with the Nasty Gal Handbag Design Team using the winning bag as inspiration.

The Best Fujifilm Instax Camera BagFrom sketch to actual bag, designers need to create the bag that best reflects the unique, playful and creative characteristics of the camera and brand. People love using the FUJIFILM Instax Mini 70 camera to capture moments that can be shared instantly. Winner will receive a Instax Mini 70 camera and a case of instant film as well as the opportunity to collaborate with FUJIFILM to create the winning bag.

The Perfect Everyday Work Tote by Aimee KestenbergFrom sketch to actual bag, designers need to create the perfect everyday work tote reflective of the brand’s on-the-go, cool & casual DNA.. Winner will garner the opportunity to potentially collaborate with the Aimee Kestenberg Handbag Design Team using the winning bag as inspiration; receive a one on one strategy meeting with our company CEO & Creative Director to help guide them with a strategy to best achieve their goals as a designer; be featured on Aimee Kestenberg Social Platforms; receive a finished professionally made sample of the final bag design; and be considered for an apprenticeship with The Affordable Luxury Group in New York City.

Audience Fan Favorite – Fans can vote for their favorite design on a well-know publication once the Finalists have been announced in mid-May.