The results are in! Aspiring designers from around the globe gathered in Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts Theatre last night as the winners of the tenth annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards were announced during a ceremony hosted by Handbag Designer 101 and its founder, Emily Blumenthal. Over 400 supporters came out to celebrate the winners and finalists in ten different categories, who were chosen from a pool of 1,500 submissions. Heirloom Handbags secured top honors as the recipient of The Evine Live Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design, while Ollie Quinn took home InStyle’s Audience Fan Favorite award, chosen by you online.
“It means so much to be to be here tonight,” said Washington D.C.-based Ollie Quinn designer Yanique Moore. “All of my designs are inspired by my grandmother, so they’re very personal to me and it’s amazing to see her style recognized on this scale.” Kahlana Barfield Brown, InStyle’s Fashion and Beauty Editor-at-Large, presented Moore with her award. Julee Wilson, Digital Fashion and Beauty Director of Essence, was also on hand to present the Iconoclast Award for Lifetime Achievement in Handbag Design to MZ Wallace.
"To have made it to ten years is incredible,” noted Blumenthal. "What started as an idea for independent designers to get their voices heard, after having been one myself, has turned into something that the industry needs in order to discover new talent and also find out who could become the next 'It bag' designer. That's priceless."