The Third Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards

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Handbag Designer 101 Honors Excellence.

I'm so excited to be part of the first ever footwear awards. Foot Petals strives to work with new talent and emerging designers. Quality and innovation has always been the key to our success. We look forward to launching a line of shoes that incorporates both

The Third Annual Independent Handbag Awards is now accepting designer submissions. The "Handbag Awards," now an industry staple, provides an opportunity for emerging and established independent designers to be recognized and stand out into the highly-saturated accessory market. This unique event remains the only of its kind internationally where the best of the best handbags and now shoes are highlighted and the designers compete for the once-in-a-career time opportunity to expose their work to the entire fashion industry in New York City, the fashion capital of the world. In addition, 2009 marks the addition of 2 new categories to the IHDA, Best Use of CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements and Best Shoe in Overall Style and Design. This year, the most innovative handbag and shoe designers will be squaring off against one another with awards to be given for Handbag Design Excellence, on June 17th at the landmark New York Historical Society. Over 500 members of the fashion industry, including press and retailers, are expected to attend The Third Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards event.

To register in the preliminary selection round, a single digital image upload is required. Applications will be accepted through and clicking on the "Handbag Awards" icon, until April 15, 2009. Finalists will be announced shortly after at Braccialini in Soho, New York.

The Categories include:
Best Student-Made Handbag
Best Handmade Handbag
Most Socially Responsible Handbag
Best Green Handbag
Audience-Selected Handbag
Best Handbag in Overall Style & Design
Best Use of CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements
Best Shoe in Overall Style & Design

The staff of Handbag Designer 101 will review all entries and choose finalists in each category based on the merits of their submitted designs. A Judging Panel consisting of Famed Handbag Designer and 2007 IHDA Lifetime Achievement Recipient of 2007, Carlos Falchi, Lisa Smilor (Associate Director for the Council of Fashion Designers of America: CFDA), Stephan Toljan, (CCB VP Market Management of Swarovski), Katie Hoy (Trade Marketing Manager for Singer Sewing Company), Devi Kroell (Creative Director of Devi Kroell), Tina Aldatz (President of Foot Petals), Meghan Cleary (Miss Meghan: America's Shoe Expert) and Julia Poteat (Assistant Professor of Fashion Methods for Parsons The New School for Design) will decide who has the "Top Handbag and Shoe Design" and select a winner from each respective category.

For the first time ever all applicants may participate by submitting a detailed sketch of their handbag design, incorporating CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements. The winning handbag will be featured in several CRYSTALLIZED(™) - Swarovski Elements channels and communication tools in the US and internationally with industry and end consumer exposure.

SINGER® Sewing Company will also sponsor the "Best Handmade Handbag Category" the 2009 Independent Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA). The winner of the 2009 Best Handmade Handbag will receive the new SINGER CURVY(™) sewing machine and will be featured on the SINGER website where the winning designer will also share a handbag pattern from his/her collection.

The Best Shoe in Overall Style and Design in which the Winner will be designing a capsule collection in collaboration with Foot Petals. "I'm so excited to be part of the first ever footwear awards. Foot Petals strives to work with new talent and emerging designers. Quality and innovation has always been the key to our success. We look forward to launching a line of shoes that incorporates both," says Tina Aldatz, President of Foot Petals.

Famed designer, Devi Kroell will be part of Independent Handbag Designer Awards. Kroell will be hosting the winner of the Best Student Made category with a prestigious apprenticeship and a chance to work side-by-side with accomplished creative, herself.

As always, the IHDA still proudly features the Most Socially Responsible Handbag where the winner will be recognized on a global platform for their work, Best Green Handbag where the winner garners a unique opportunity to develop a collaborative bag with a top Green brand and Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design. The Winner of the Best Overall Handbag and Shoe in Style and Design will have the chance to showcase their award-winning handbag collection with a free 10x10 booth (a $7,000 value) to over 120,000 fashion industry influentials at the WWDMAGIC Accessories Show in Las Vegas, August, 2009. The Audience Fan Favorite will be announced the night of the event. They will also have an opportunity to have their limited edition capsule collections sold exclusively at the IHDA Retail Sponsor.

Celebrated British designer Lulu Guinness will receive the IHDA ICONOCLAST Award this year for her 20 years in accessories design. Lulu Guinness famous for her exquisite, witty handbags and accessories originally launched her company in 1989 and instantly became a "must" in every fashion aficionado's international address book. "This award couldn't have come at a better time as I'm celebrating my 20th Anniversary this year; I'm thrilled to have been asked. I particularly appreciate the recognition from the other side of the Atlantic," says the prolific and whimsical designer. Lulu Guinness will also be honored by the British Consul General, Sir Alan Collins, who will be hosting a celebratory party in his home in New York City.

"Going into our third year, we are proud that the fashion and accessories community has acknowledged the IHDA as a venue where new talent is discovered." said Emily Blumenthal, founder and creator of Handbag Designer 101, from which the IHDA stem. "In today's current economic situation, innovation and newness are what is needed. The Handbag Awards has successfully created a platform which emerging handbag and now shoe designers, by popular demand, can be recognized and turn into become well-known brands."

Additional sponsors include: The Fashion Business Improvement District: The Fashion Center, The Garment Industry Development Corporation, Parsons The New School of Design, Pantone, The Luxury Institute, The UK Trade and Investment, Braccialini, Ripe Ideas, Soho House NYC, Red Branch Public Relations, Collective-E, Miss Meghan, Rosangel of Gran Centenario, Wathne Limited, M&J Trimming, Leather Suede Skins, Rosen & Chadick Fabrics, RIRI Zippers/Pacific Trimmings, Verve NYC, EnSof Graphics and the Bottomless Closet.

For complete information check the website:

Handbag Designer 101,, the handbag designer resource is where handbag designers, aficionados and experts unite. Find undiscovered handbags by independent designers; learn about the latest handbag trends; see the handbags that celebrities are wearing today; find out about the latest handbag shopping events; learn about the latest jobs and services offered in the accessories market and even blog about the latest "IT" handbag. With over 300,000 unique visitors and 2 million page views monthly, Handbag Designer 101 is a handbag medium that is an integral part of the accessories industry.

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.

To Apply to the 3rd Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards:

Today's HB101:
Bag Trends:
Celebrity Bag Watch:
Jobs and Services:
Handbag Designer 101: or

For more information contact:

Emily Blumenthal
Handbag Designer 101
Telephone: 646-209-1418
Email: emily [at]

For press inquiries contact:

Sabina Ptacin
Red Branch Public Relations
Telephone: 212-627-8912
Email: sabina [at]


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