The 8th Independent Handbag Designer Awards founded in 2007 by Handbag Designer 101, to handbag designs and from around the world, took place recently in New York. Being the only international design competition of its kind, IHDA is the platform for putting new handbag designer talent on the map. This year’s edition which took place at the SVA Theatre on West 23rd Street, saw a host of creativity curated from across the globe.
It was also special for a different reason as Nigeria’s O’Eclat Designs by Gbemmy Johnson, was nominated in the category of Most Socially Responsible Bag. In full support of the ever present “Buy Nigerian” campaign, I turned up at the venue on special invitation by Ms. Johnson, to be a part of one of the fashion industry’s most memorable evenings of the year- responsible for high profile collaborations and hundreds of success stories.
There were nine categories up for grabs in totality as well as a special recognition to The 2015 IHDA ICONOCLAST Recipient: Rebecca Minkoff. All winners have been slated for features in the September Issue of InStyle Magazine.
The TRINA TURK Best Student Made Handbag:
Students who successfully started their lines while still in school.
The BERNINA Best Handmade Handbag:
Made with any material where the designer is making their bag by sewing machine or by hand.
The KLEAN KANTEEN Best Green Handbag:
Bags that are made out of sustainable, recycled or organic materials.
The Fashion 4 Development Most Socially Responsible Handbag
Bags that are made in a country where the proceeds are given back to the country of manufacturing or people that are employed to manufacture handbags to better their lives and/or conditions.
The EVINE Live Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design
Best executed handbag overall in style and design.
Distinctly Denim by Guess Handbags:
The most trend driven use of denim, in a playful and imaginative way by embracing the personality of the brand.
The Stand Out & Look Great Work bag by MOO:
Creating the unisex bag for professionals on the go. Business does not have to be boring.
The Mary Kay® Most Irresistible Makeup Bag
The most versatile and stylish makeup bag that every woman will want.
By Latasha Ngwube