The 2009 Independent Handbag Designer Awards Sponsored by CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements

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The Third Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards proudly announces the addition of an exciting new sparkling design category.

CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements makes it a priority to support and encourage the creativity and talent of the design community.

Handbag Designer 101, the world's handbag designer resource, announces that CRYSTALLIZED(™), the brand for all loose cut crystals manufactured by Swarovski, will sponsor a new sparkling category, inviting designers to create innovative new handbags and compete for the Award, "Best Use of CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements for the 2009 Independent Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA)." This unique collaboration will inspire handbag designers to incorporate crystals as a creative ingredient, resulting in one of a kind, luxury designs, launching January 2009.

For the first time ever all registered designers may participate by submitting a detailed sketch of their handbag design, incorporating CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements. Designers are encouraged to create bags of any material or silhouette while utilizing the CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements as embellishment, trimming or even as part of the core concept. The five best ideas will be chosen the Handbag Designer 101 Preliminary Judging Panel, giving the selected designers unlimited access to CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements, to execute their final handbags for the annual awards ceremony on June 17, 2009 here the final winner will be announced.

"The Best Use of CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements Award is a great addition to our prestigious competition, " said Emily Blumenthal, Founder of Handbag Designer 101 and IHDA." We are extremely excited to partner with CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements as I know the participating designers will be just as inspired as we are about this collaboration. Swarovski's origin was working with emerging designers to make beautiful things and we are flattered that they would go back to their roots and realize that true creativity still comes from that community. We are confident that we will find the next IT handbag designer and can only hope it is through this amazing new category."

As of January 2009 the CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements collection of crystal stones and semi-finished products along with color charts and application instructions will be available as download via a special login to Swarovski's website http://www.SWAROVSKI.COM/CRYSTALLIZED. In addition, the trend team from CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements will begin to provide regular features and tips on Handbag Designer 101, including new crystal innovations and product launches, upcoming new colors, trend forecasts and application know how. The new content will be featured on Handbag Designer 101 and the Handbag Designer 101 Weekly Round-Up which reach the handbag designer community at large and handbag aficionados throughout the world.

"CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements makes it a priority to support and encourage the creativity and talent of the design community." states Stephan Toljan, VP of Market Management. "It is our pleasure to have CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements sponsor this year's Independent Handbag Designer Awards and to create a new handbag category that will both inspire and support designers to incorporate the creative material crystal in their one of a kind pieces ."

The winner of the 2009 "Best Use of CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements" award will receive a crystal sponsorship with free access to crystals and Swarovski know how, to produce a limited edition of the winner bag. In addition, the winning handbag will be featured in several CRYSTALLIZED(™) channels and communication tools in the US and internationally with industry and end consumer exposure. Applications for the 2009 Independent Handbag Designer Awards will be available online at for the "Best Use of CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements" by mid January with the other categories open for submission the beginning in February 2009. The pinnacle of the international competition will culminate with the annual awards ceremony on June 17, 2009 at The New York Historical Society.

About Handbag Designer 101
Handbag Designer 101, the handbag designer resource was inspired by the needs for the handbag designer, aficionado and fan in all of us, as one knows we can never have too many bags. Handbag Designer 101 and Independent Handbag Designer Awards trademarks are owned by, a privately held company based in New York City.

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About CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements
CRYSTALLIZED(™) is the product brand for the world's finest loose cut crystals manufactured by Swarovski. Available in a myriad of colors, effects, shapes and sizes, these elements provide a fabulous palette of inspiration for designers in the worlds of fashion, jewelry, accessories and interior design. This precious ingredient can be recognized by the end consumer through the "Made with CRYSTALLIZED(™)- Swarovski Elements" label. CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements add brilliance to the most glamorous designs, sparkle to international galas and touch the heart of all those who seek radiance and luxury in their lives. http://www.CRYSTALLIZED.COM

For more information contact:
Emily Blumenthal
Handbag Designer 101
Telephone: 646-209-1418

Cynthia Pino
Crystallized Communications Manager
Telephone: 212.935.4200 ext. 189


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