By  on November 5, 2007

The $35 billion accessories market continues to grow at a rapid pace, and some of last year's standouts will be celebrated at tonight's 11th annual Accessories Council Excellence Awards.

Held in New York at Cipriani on 42nd Street, the awards are expected to attract honorees and accessories aficionados such as Mandy Moore and presenters including actress Kerry Washington. In past years, Jennifer Lopez, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jessica Simpson and Sean "Diddy" Combs have received awards.

The trophies double as accessories themselves. Designed by Leiber president Frank Zambrelli, the award is a clear crystal minaudière with a mirror on the interior that is engraved with the winner's name.

"The mission of the Accessories Council is to increase consumer awareness, especially at this time of the year," said Karen Giberson, the council's president.

While it is an industry event, the photographs of the A-list attendees are projected through media outlets across the globe. "Consumers really pay attention to what [people] are wearing," Giberson added.

This year will be no different. Washington will present Tory Burch with the honor of Accessory Brand Launch. Burch delved into handbags, footwear and jewelry in fall 2006.

"Accessories are an essential part of our brand," Burch said. "For now, we are focusing on continuing to grow our shoe and handbag collection. It's important for me to expand slowly so we can stay true to our original vision and keep giving customers what they want and need."

The Reva ballet flat — named after Burch's mother, whom she calls her muse — has been a success for the company.

"The success of the Reva ballerina has been beyond anything I ever could have imagined," the designer added. "The Reva introduced our brand to a much younger customer, which is great to see,

because I have always hoped our brand would appeal to women of all ages."

Nancy Gonzalez will receive her award for Brand of the Year from Bergdorf Goodman chief executive Jim Gold.

"We have a very significant business with Nancy Gonzalez," Gold said in 2006 when the specialty store devoted the entire Arcade space to Gonzalez to display its exotic skin bags. "We feel their product is unique and they earned that space. They have a very loyal following of women who love to add to their collections season after season."

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