Handbags and Shoes: you can’t have too many. Lots and lots of both are a girl’s dream! Tonight I was surrounded by lots of handbags and shoes, but I wasn’t dreaming — I was at the Independant Handbag Designer Awards at the New York Historical Society.
The awards give new and young designers a chance to shine, and win some impressive prizes.
This bag by Andres Stickney for DRES won the Best Green Handbag Award, and will be produced by Korres Natural Products for their stores.
35 finalists were chosen by a preliminary judging panel of Handbag Designer 101. The
Judging Panel included: Handbag Designer and 2007 IHDA Lifetime Achievement Recipient of 2007, Carlos Falchi, Lisa Smilor (Associate Director for the Council of Fashion Designers of America: CFDA), Lincoln Moore, (SVP DMM, Accessories, Saks Fifth Avenue), Sam Edelman (CEO of Sam Edelman), Stephan Toljan, (CCB Vice President Market Management of Swarovski), Devi Kroell (CEO & CCO for Devi Kroell), Katie Boertman (Trade Marketing Manager for Singer Sewing Company), Tina Aldatz (President of Foot Petals), Meghan Cleary (Miss Meghan: America.s Shoe Expert) and Julia Poteat (Assistant Professor of Fashion Methods for Parsons The New School for Design). They decide who has the “Top Handbag and Shoe Design” and select a winner in eight categories.
Although the focus is handbags, a shoe category “Best Shoe in Overall Style and Design” was also included. These amazing shoes by Raphael Young won. Tina Aldatz (President of Foot Petals), presented this award. This shoe will be created as a limited edition to be sold exclusively at Verve. Tina will be designing the inner part of the show shoe (thanks to Foot Petals) so it feels as good to walk in, as it looks. The Advice Sisters reviewed a number of Foot Petals products in November 2007 and also in 2005. They really help make walking in any type of shoe, more comfortable, but especially when you’re wearing high heels. Tina told me that she injured the bottoms of her feet when she was a child, and used this as a motivation to create padding for feet that would work in dress shoes and pumps. She told me she had several different Foot Petals products in her very strappy and high heels. She stood on them all night and still had a smile on her face — these foot pads, work!
One person I recognised at the cocktail reception was fashion stylist Phillip Bloch. He was so gracious to me back in 2008 when he asked me to take a photo with him at the Evenings in Vogue Event, and he was just as nice, this time.
What struck me as the evening progressed, was how important recognition and incentives are to designers who might have tons of talent, but not a lot of money. Unlike many awards shows where the recipients are blase, the winning designers literally burst with pride and excitement as their names were announced. It was really great to see. A great way to launch a career, and I can’t wait to see some of the designs, for sale! Check out all the designs of the finalists, Which ones do you like the best?