Handbag Designer 101 hosted its ninth annual Independent Handbag Designers Awards Wednesday night.
Rebecca Minkoff received the Iconoclast Award for Lifetime Achievement. The awards were handed out at the SVA Theatre in New York. There were 40 finalists in eight categories.
This year’s top honor went to Mandy Chang Design Studio, the recipient of the Evine Live Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design. As part of Handbag Designer 101’s partnership with digital commerce firm Evine Live, Mandy Chang will have a featured show on Evine in February. The show is expected to be two hours long, and is slated to include other winners of Evine’s choosing. Chang will also receive a mentorship with factoring firm Hilldon Factors.
For the Evine show, the winners will re-create their winning designs at an “accessible” price point for Evine’s audience. L & Leung Group will manufacture the reimagined bags, which will be available for purchase on Evine Live. The reimagined bags are expected to cost less than $200. The original designs can be purchased on handbagdesigner101.com.
Other winners at this year’s awards ceremony include: the InStyle.com Audience Fan Favorite: Jennifer Hamley England, Jennifer Hamley, U.K.; the Trina Turk Best Student Made Handbag: Grip Handbags, Daniele Gumina of Pepperdine University, U.S.; the Bernina Best Handmade Handbag: Kabo Leather, Boris Matveev, U.S.; the Klean Kanteen Best Green Handbag: Gunas, Sugandh Agrawal, U.S.; the Fashion 4 Development Most Socially Responsible Handbag: Leonor, Ana Maria Plata, Colombia; the Mary Kay Most Irresistible Makeup Bag: Carla Lopez, Emilia Arzua and Carla Lopez, Spain; the Stand Out and Look Great Work Bag by Moo: Jennifer Hamley England, Jennifer Hamley, U.K., and Distinctly Denim by Guess Handbags: Mary Lai, Marylai New York, U.S.
Gumina, the winner of the student handbag category, will receive an apprenticeship with Trina Turk and Signal Brands. The receipient of the Mary Kay makeup bag award will have the opportunity to work on Mary Kay projects, while the winner for the denim category, Mary Lai, will have her bag sold on Guess.com, as well as work alongside Guess’ handbag designer, who is based in Florence, Italy.
Judges this year include Minkoff and Monica Botkier, both of whom have their own handbag collections, and David Miller, Evine’s vice president of fashion. Emily Blumenthal is the founder of Handbag Designer 101.