Finalists Selected for the 2009 Independent Handbag Designer Awards™ Now with Shoes

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Handbag Designer 101 Honors Handbag and Shoe Excellence at the Third Annual "Handbag Awards".

Top Handbag and Shoe Design

Handbag Designer 101, the handbag designer resource, announces today the long awaited results of the finalists for the Independent Handbag Designer Awards ™ Now with Shoes. Over 600 applications were received from around the world ranging with diverse backgrounds from North Dakota to Mongolia to Finland. The Independent Handbag Designer Awards is the only design competition of its kind in the world for handbag designers to receive credibility and recognition to stand out in today's competitive accessory market. The winners will be announced on June 17th at the IHDA event at the New York Historical Society. The live Finalist Announcement can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jINHPgdQVdU

"These 35 designers whether they are established or emerging, share a common passion, commitment and creativity to make a unique handbag while being role-models for entrepreneurship and small business," says Emily Blumenthal, founder of Handbag Designer 101 and the Independent Handbag Designer Awards. "Each designer is well deserved in their recognition for in each category of Best Student-Made Handbag, Best Handmade Handbag, Most-Socially Responsible Handbag, Best Green Handbag, Best Use of Swarovski Crystallized (™) Elements, Best Show in Overall Style and Design and Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design."

These finalists were chosen by a preliminary judging panel of Handbag Designer 101. 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), Lincoln Moore, (SVP DMM, Accessories, Saks Fifth Avenue), Sam Edelman (CEO of Sam Edelman), Stephan Toljan, (CCB Vice President Market Management of Swarovski), Devi Kroell (CEO & CCO for Devi Kroell), Christina Polychroni, (Director of Marketing for Korres Natural Products), Katie Boertman (Trade Marketing Manager for Singer Sewing Company), 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. These finalists, whose bags and shoes all must be made under their own label, representing a wide range of styles and designs, in each category are:

Best Student Made Handbag - These finalists' bags are students who have successfully started their lines while still in school. This award will be presented by Devi Kroell, CEO & CCO for Devi Kroell.

  •     Bridget Duffy: Bridget Duffy Originals, Philadelphia Univeristy
  •     Carmen Talavera: Carmen Talavera, Mercy Jackes College
  •     Rachel Esswood: Rachel Esswood, Cordwainers at London College of Fashion
  •     Daisy Ho: Hodaze, London College of Fashion
  •     Susan Jina Lee: Movement, Parsons The New School for Design

Best Handmade Handbag - These finalists' must be sewn, crocheted, knitted where the design themselves is making their bag by hand or machine. This award will be presented by Katie Boertman, Trade Marketing Manager for the Singer Sewing Company.

  •     Alexis Campagna: Antibellum
  •     Brenda Zheng: Brenda Zheng
  •     Nanang Agung Rahmanto: Muttox 9
  •     Lauren Finelli: LaurNelli
  •     Darren Wallace, Darren Wallace

Best Green Handbag - These finalists' that are made out of sustainable, recycled or organic materials. This award will be presented by Christina Polychroni, Director of Marketing for Korres Natural Products.

  •     Allison McGowan: TEICH
  •     Linda Wong: Canopy Verde
  •     Karin Maislinger: kontiki
  •     Andres Stickney: DRES
  •     Nazly Villamizar, Ecoist

Most Socially Responsible Handbag - These finalists' meet certain ethical and moral standards in regards to production, employment and philanthropy while impacting the local culture. This award will be presented by Kendall Farell, Executive Director of Bottomless Closet.

  •     Pauline Lewis & Le Thi Hong Tu: oovoo design, Made in Vietnam
  •     Cherry Kwunyeun: Blumpari, Made in Thailand
  •     Katie Smith: Angel Jackson, Made in Bali
  •     Clare Elsmore-Dodsworth: Gifted Label, Made in Mongolia
  •     Maria Estrada: IGNES Handbags, Made in Uruguay

Best Use of CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements
This category represents the best executed handbag in overall style and design and will be Stephan Toljan, CCB Vice President Market Management of Swarovski.

  •     Heather Choi: Farfaraway
  •     Michele Gresh: Modern Unity
  •     Ana Niculae: Imperfect Indulgence
  •     Lorna Nixon: Lorna Nixon
  •     Erin Vorhees: Kempt

Best Shoe in Overall Style and Design - This category represents the best executed shoe in overall style and design and will be presented by Sam Edelman, CEO of Sam Edelman and Tina Aldatz, President of Foot Petals.

  •     Raphael Young: Raphael Young
  •     Minna Parikka: Minna Parikka
  •     Jamie Presson: J.L. Presson
  •     Marti Zabell: Marz
  •     Weronika Lesniak: Weronika: Lesniak

Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design - This category represents the best executed handbag in overall style and design and will be presented by Lincoln Moore, DMM, Handbags, Saks Fifth Avenue.

  •     Minna Parikka: Minna Parikka
  •     Johanna Baccardo: Beautiful People
  •     Emily Cheetham: Cheet London
  •     Alice Tapajos: Zibba
  •     Adriana Castro: Adriana Castro

The final category to be celebrated is "Audience Fan Favorite" where fans can vote for their favorite independent handbag or shoe designer based on the 35 finalists on Handbag Designer 101. This award will be presented by Founder and Creator of Handbag Designer 101 and the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, Emily Blumenthal. This designer that received the most votes will be announced the night of June 17th at the IDHA event with the other category winners. These aforementioned category finalists' work can be seen at http://www.hbd101.com/finalists_2009.

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. To celebrate the brand's 20th Anniversary Year, Lulu Guinness will be releasing a new limited collection of her legendary Rose Baskets, which will be on display at the night of the IHDA. Throughout the year, Lulu will be collaborating with famed and up & coming artists to produce limited edition specialty items to be sold at the Lulu Guinness stores worldwide.

The 2009 IHDA Sponsors include CRYSTALLIZED (™) - Swarovski Elements, Singer Sewing Company, WWDMAGIC, Parsons The New School for Design, Pantone, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sam Edelman, Foot Petals, Devi Kroell, The Fashion Center, UK Trade and Investment, Korres Natural Beauty, The Garment Industry Development Corporation, The Luxury Institute, Ripe Ideas, Soho House NYC, Red Branch Public Relations, Collective-E, Miss Meghan, Rosangel from Gran Centenario, Kristof Wines, Shine to Go, Megan Howard Design, Smart Water, enSof Graphics, M&J Trimming, Leather Suede Skins, Rosen & Chadick Fabrics, Verve NYC and Bottomless Closet.
For complete information or to purchase tickets for the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, check out http://www.handbagdesigner101.com or http://www.hbd101.com.

Handbag Designer 101, the handbag designer resource, was inspired by the need 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 handbagdesigner101.com, a privately held company based in New York City.

Today's HB101: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/designer
Bag Trends: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/trends
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Jobs & Services: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/jobs
The Independent Handbag Designer Awards Now With Shoes: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/independent_handbag_designer_awards
IHDA Ticket Purchase: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/handbags?s=processCard
Contact: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com, http://www.hbd101.com, 1-866-206-9067 x2342

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EMILY BLUMENTHAL
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