Fashion trends may go in and out of style, but a woman’s handbag is forever. Handbags are a vital part of many women’s lives and wardrobes, not to mention a highly lucrative business for all the major fashion houses. But how does an independent designer make a name for themselves? Luckily, there’s initiatives like the Independent Handbag Designer Awards to help out aspiring talent. Now in it’s sixth year, the IHDA is the only competition of its kind in the world for giving up-and-coming handbag designers a shot at abigger stage to showcase their talents with the winner taking home the chance to design a collection with Kenneth Cole.
Past winners include Adriana Castro, Katherine Kwei, Follis by Catherine Meyer and others who now grace the pages of magazines, design for top design houses, are seen on thearms of celebrities and the shelves of the world’s top department stores. Quite simply: the awards can be a gamechanger for any aspiring handbag designer. This year’s sponsors include Kenneth Cole, InStyle Magazine, Saks Fifth Avenue, Timberland, Singer, Patronand VitaminWater, providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the category winners. These prizes include the chance to develop a capsule collection with Kenneth Cole, a chance to sell their line at Saks Fifth Avenue, an opportunity to create a handbag for Timberland, and a featured spread in InStyle Magazine.
Over 1200 applicants who share a common passion for innovative design and creating handbags submitted entries last year from every corner of the globe (from London to Cambodia to Brazil to New York City), and designers this year only have until April 28thto submit (which they can do online for no cost). These designers, will be competing in categories ranging from “Best Green Handbag” to “Best Student Made Handbag” to “Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design” (which will go on to besold at Saks Fifth Avenue) to the “Audience Fan Favorite” (which anyone in the world can vote for starting May 1st!).
Started by Emily Blumenthal, a handbag designer turned founder of the website Handbag Designer 101 (www.hbd101.com), the awards were once an intimate affair but have since grown to attract the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue, InStyle, and the repeated interest and support of brands like Swarovski and Timberland who will go on to create handbag styles for retail sale with the category winners. The IHDA winners will be announced on June 13, 2012. For more information on the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, visit- http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/p/2012_IHDA_APPLICATION_PAGE. Good luck to all the finalists!
-Alia Rajput v
Photo Source: IHDA
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