6th Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards

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Handbags are a statement accessory that are also vital part of many women'??s lives, not to mention a highly lucrative business, but how does an independent designer make a name for themselves? The Independent Handbag Designer Awards (now in its 6th year) is the only competition of its kind for giving up-and-coming handbag designers a shot at a bigger stage to showcase their talents with the winner taking home the chance to design a collection with Kenneth Cole. Past winners include Adriana Castro, Katherine Kwei, Follis by Catherine Meyer and others who now grace the pages of magazines, design for top design houses, are seen on the arms of celebrities and the shelves of the world'??s top department stores. Quite simply: the awards can be a game changer for any aspiring handbag designer.

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Over 1200 applicants who share a common passion for innovative design and creating handbags submitted entries last year from every corner of the globe (from London to Cambodia to Brazil to New York City), and designers this year only have until April 28thto submit (which they can do online for no cost). These designers, will be competing in categories ranging from '??Best Green Handbag'? to '??Best Student Made Handbag'? to '??Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design'? (which will go on to be sold at Saks Fifth Avenue) to the '??Audience Fan Favorite'? (which anyone in the world can vote for starting May 1st). There is nothing else in the world like this contest for independent designers, and the fact that entry is free and open to everyone, while offering the chance to be the next '??It'? bag, is priceless.

This year'??s sponsors include Kenneth Cole, InStyle Magazine, Saks Fifth Avenue, Timberland, Singer, Patron and Vitamin Water, providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the category winners. These prizes include the chance to develop a capsule collection with Kenneth Cole, a chance to sell at Saks Fifth Avenue, an opportunity to create a handbag for Timberland, and a featured spread in InStyle Magazine.

Started by Emily Blumenthal, a handbag designer turned founder of the website Handbag Designer 101 (www.hbd101.com), the awards were once a small intimate affair but have since grown to attract the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue, InStyle, and the repeated interest and support of brands like Swarovski and Timberland who will go on to create handbag styles for retail sale with the eventual category winners.

For more information, please visit: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/p/2012_IHDA_APPLICATION_PAGE

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