The Accessories Council today named two additional recipients for the 2011 Accessories Council Excellence Awards, which will be held here Nov. 7. Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig will take home honors for accessory brand launch of the year, and Nicole Richie has been named influencer of the year due to her House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate collections. The ACE Awards were founded 16 years ago to celebrate both rising and established talent in the market, and this year’s honorees include Rebecca Minkoff, Philip Treacy, Temple St. Clair, Robert Marc, Haskell Jewels’ Frank Fialkoff, Tourneau, HSN, Marie Claire magazine and Kate Betts in categories ranging from business visionary award to breakthrough award to designer of the year.
“When I design, I always try to design pieces that are universal, meaning anyone can wear and carry it. At this stage of my design process, I really try to gather direct feedback from my customers, whether through in-store personal appearances, my Web site, Twitter or Facebook,” Richie told WWD in June right before her first collection of handbags hit stores in July. “It really helps me when they provide me with their desires, feedback and comments on what they are looking for, so I can try my best to cater to their needs, yet stay true to the brand’s identity.”