AND THE AWARD GOES TO: Henri Bendel feted contestants in the second annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards, whose bags are displayed in the retailer's Fifth Avenue windows.
Up for top prizes in categories such as Best Student Made Bag, Best Green Handbag and Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design, the honorees will be cited Wednesday during the awards gala at the New York Historical Society.
"These 20 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," said Emily Blumenthal, founder of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards and Handbag Designer 101, an organization devoted to helping independents start their lines.
Finalists are competing for prizes, such as an apprenticeship with Bendel's, an opportunity to have their bags on the Bag Borrow or Steal Web site and a free booth at the MAGIC Accessories Show in Las Vegas. In addition, American brand Leiber will be honored with the Iconoclast Award for being a leader in luxury accessories design. As an homage, Bendel's created a Judith Leiber for Henri Bendel limited edition "Roll" bag in dark chocolate brown that retails for $1,995. RARE STONES: Dolce & Gabbana is glamming it up for summer with a new limited edition sunglasses collection. Available in white or black, the three frame styles feature 112 Swarovski crystals decorating the temple in floral formations with semiprecious stones such as turquoise and coral. The sunglasses will hit Ilori stores this month, as well as high-end specialty stores and Dolce & Gabbana stores by the end of next month. The price for the eyewear is $960.
BAG OF TRICKS: Prada knows how to coddle its customers. This month, the luxury goods house launched a made-to-order service for bags, initially only available in its three Milan stores, alongside Prada units in Rome, London and Monte Carlo.
Clients seeking individuality can now indulge in a medium-size handbag with a gold metal zipper and name tag. The bags are available in python or ostrich and the color choices span from fuchsia and saffron yellow to rock brown and salmon pink. Prices are available only upon request in the stores.On a more whimsical note, Prada fans can turn to the updated lineup of the house's successful Tricks collection that includes teddy bear key rings and gadgets. They will be available in Prada flagships at the end of June. Spurred by the strong performance of the winter collection, Prada updated the offerings for spring by outfitting the little bears as sportsmen, including tennis and baseball players, a boxer and a swimmer, which retail for 120 euros, or $184 at current exchange rates. The Tricks line also includes white teddy-printed T-shirts and canvas bags in primary brights with applications of furry bears.
DAMIANI APPOINTMENT: Italian jewelry firm Damiani has named Antonio Pavan as president and chief executive officer of Damiani USA. Pavan, who is responsible for the company's dealings in North and South America, was chief operating officer of footwear firm Skins. Before that he was executive vice president of Geox USA and housewares firm Alessi USA, overseeing U.S. operations.
"We believe that [Pavan's] impressive international background and extensive American experience will be a great contribution to the growth and success of our company," said Giorgio Grassi Damiani, Damiani USA chairman and vice president of the Damiani Group.
EIGHT IS ENOUGH: Hogan is tweaking its Olympia sneaker, first designed for the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, for the Olympics in Beijing. The Tod's Group-owned Italian accessories brand will issue a limited number of 888 pairs — symbolizing the games' start date of Aug. 8, 2008 — of the ultralight, ivory sneaker with a gold band and red and green contrast stitching. They will be available at all Hogan flagships worldwide starting in July.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)