Winners for the Thirteenth Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards

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IHDA Finalist Display credit Alex Palombo
IHDA Finalist Display credit Alex Palombo Credit Mavi Phillips



Winners for the Thirteenth Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards
Winners for the Thirteenth Annual
Independent Handbag Designer Awards

Handbag Designer 101 revealed the winners of the Thirteenth Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards™ (IHDA) last night at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in New York City.  Hosted by Founder Emily Blumenthal, over 400 industry insiders, designers and celebrity supporters came out to celebrate the new and innovative in handbag design.

2,000 submissions collected globally, winners were named in the nine distinct categories. Brandon Blackwood of Brandon Blackwood New York secured top honors as the recipient of The Best Retail Bag Presented by Macy’s. The Harrian Best Student Winner was Alison Chang of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Florina Sirman of atribut from Romania took home the Coterie Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design and finally with over 20,000 votes for the BELLA Magazine Audience Fan Favorite was won by Jeffrey Wan of Jeff Wan whose Mauritian roots were a key part of his design.

THE 2019 CARLOS FALCHI ICONOCLAST AWARD Recipient: Patricia Nash

This Award was presented by Patti Ongman, Chief Merchandising Officer of Macy’s.

The Coterie Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design by atribut from Romania
The Coterie Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design by atribut from Romania

Below is the list of Winners in each category.

The COTERIE Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design: Florina Sirman, atribut, Romania

The Best Retail Bag Presented by Macy’s:  Brandon Blackwood, Brandon Blackwood New York, USA

The Harrian Student Made Handbag: Alison Chang, Alison Chang, Savannah College of Art and Design, Taiwan

The BROTHER Best Handmade Handbag: Adam French, Adan Ballou, Canada

The Piñatex Best Green Handbag: Charlotte Bingham-Wallis and Maria Costa, FROM BELO, UK

The Global Goods Partners Most Socially Responsible Handbag:  Brad Jeffery, MADE BY FREE WOMEN, Made in India, USA

The Cult Belt Bag Inspired by Nine West: Yujin Kim, VALO, Korea

The BELLA Magazine Audience Fan Favorite: Jeffrey Wan You Sew, Jeff Wan, Inc., Mauritius

The Signature Satchel by Aimee Kestenberg: Mayra Martinez Spencer, Mayra Martinez Spencer, Venezuela

IHDA Winners From Maria_Costa
IHDA Winners From Maria_Costa Credit Mavi Phillips

More on the categories and prizes:

The Harrian Student Made Handbag – These bags were all created by student designers. Winner will receive the opportunity to work with Harrian, a famed global brand that is launching in the US as a coveted design apprentice working with their esteemed brand assortment. This category will be presented by Co-Creative Director of Harrian and 3-time 2017 IHDA Winner, Christopher Belt.

The BROTHER Best Handmade Handbag – Made by hand, machine sewn, crocheted or knitted, Winner will also receive an opportunity to work with the Brother International Corporation, the prominent sewing machine company in the craft industry. This category will be presented by Jessica Del Duca, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, Home Appliance Division, Brother International Corporation.

The Piñatex Best Green Handbag – All bags submitted in this category are made of renewable, organic, or recycled materials. Winner will receive an opportunity to work with Piñatex, a Mentoring Skype call with Dr Carmen Hijosa, Founder of Piñatex, a 2LM min material sponsorship and also be considered a Brand Ambassador for Ananas Anam of Piñatex. Winner will also receive a consultation with the Queen of Raw, former IHDA Finalist, Stephanie Benedetto, on how to keep their brand sustainable. This category will be presented by Ceri Rees, Sales and Marketing Manager, ANANAS ANAM.

The Global Goods Partners 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. Winner will work in partnership with Global Goods Partners and one of the artisan communities with which GGP works to fabricate an exclusive handbag designed by this year’s winner. GGP will offer the handbag on GGP’s website and promote it extensively through GGP’s social media and other outlets. This category will be presented by Joan Shifrin, Co-Founder, Global Goods Partners.

The Cult Belt Bag Inspired by Nine WestFrom sketch to actual bag, designers must utilize a creative way to design a waist bag for day-to-night. Winner will garner the opportunity to potentially collaborate with the Nine West Handbag Design Team using the winning bag as inspiration. This category will be presented by Jason Rimokh, CEO, Signal Brands.

The Aimee Kestenberg “Self-Love” Inspired Handbag – From sketch to actual bag, designers must create a crossbody inspired by personal empowerment, effortless style and the journey to self-love. 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; 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. This category will be presented by Aimee Kestenberg Elan, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Aimee Kestenberg and 2010 & 2012, IHDA Winner.

The Best Retail Bag Presented by Macy’s – These bags represent the best that were perfect for the Macy’s customer. Winner will receive a spot in the 2020 Workshop @ Macy’s. This Award will be presented by Holly White, GVP DBM Handbags and Accessories Macy’s Inc.

The BELLA Magazine Audience Fan Favorite – These bags represent the designer that won the most votes through BELLA Magazine fan network. The Winner will receive a one-on-one interview and major feature in Bella Magazine. This Awards will be presented by Courtenay Hall, Editor-In-Chief of Bella Magazine.

The COTERIE Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design – Winner will have the opportunity to have a 10×10 booth in 2019 or 2020 in the COTERIE marketplace with full marketing and promotion. Winner will also receive a mentorship with Hilldun, a brand consultancy with the Accessory Think Tank, and product from the Ohio Travel Bag Company and Leather, Suede, Skins. This category will be presented by Danielle Licata, President, COTERIE and East Coast Womens Informa.

IHDA Winners From Belo Charlotte Bingham-Wallis
IHDA Winners From Belo Charlotte Bingham-Wallis Credit Mavi Phillips

The IHDA Sponsors are COTERIE, Macy’s, NINE WEST, Signal Brands, Brother International Corporation, Harrian Handbags, Global Goods Partners, Aimee Kestenberg, Basic Adhesives, UBM, Piñatex by Ananas ANAM, Pantone, Hilldun, The Fashion Class, The NPD Group, Garment Center Alliance, Save the Garment Center, Bottomless Closet, The Accessory Think Tank, The 50 Bowery Hotel, Ohio Travel Bag, Comfort Cases, Queen of Raw, The TassenMuseum of Bags and Purses, Leather Suede Skins, Arias Wine, and Quarto Water.

More information www.thehandbagawards.com