2015 Independent Handbag Designer Awards

By Shannon Moody, NYC Editor


The 9th annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards were recently held last week at the School of the Visual Arts Theatre in NYC. I had such an amazing time attending the awards ceremony, meeting so many talented designers, and networking at the afterparty — Gansevoort Park Meatpacking. The awards show was presented by Handbag Designer 101 and hosted by founder Emily Blumenthal. Over 400 industry insiders, designers and celebrity supporters came out to celebrate all that’s new and novel in handbag design!



The IHDAs were created to celebrate handbag design and creativity from around the world. Each winner across the various 9 categories will receive a yearlong membership to the Accessories Council and will be featured in the September issue of InStyle. Check out the winners for each of the 9 categories below, along with their winning handbags!!



The EVINE Live Best Handbag in Overall Style & Design — Best executed handbag overall in style and design.

WINNER —   Mandy Chang — Mandy Chang Design Studio


The Trina Turk Best Studentmade Handbag — Students who started a line while in school. Winner will receive a coveted apprenticeship with famed designer, Trina Turk and Signal Brands.

WINNER — Danielle Gumina – GRIP Handbags


Bernina Best Hand-Made Handbag — Made with any material where the designer is making their bag by sewing machine or by hand. Winner will receive the BERNINA 560 sewing machine.

WINNER — Boris Matveev – Kabo Leather


Klean Kanteen Best Green Handbag — Bags that are made out of sustainable, recycled or organic materials

WINNER — Sugandh Agrawal – GUNAS


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 condition.

WINNER — Ana Maria Plata – Leonor


Distinctly Denim by Guess Handbags — Sketch Based Category
The most trend driven use of denim, in a playful and imaginative way by embracing the personality of the Guess brand. Winner will garner an amazing opportunity to have their bag sold on Guess.com and work alongside our handbag designer based in Florence, Italy.

WINNER —  Marylai New York

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The Standout & Look Great Work Bag by MOO — Sketch Based Category
Creating the unisex bag for professionals on the go. Business does not have to be boring. The category winner will receive MOOlah with which to create business stationery, promotional materials, and merchandising assets.

WINNER —  Jennifer Hamley, England


The MARYKAY Most Irresistible Makeup Bag — Sketch Based Category — The most versatile and stylish makeup bag that every woman will want. Winner will have an amazing opportunity to work on Mary Kay projects and have their bag featured on global MaryKay.com’s and social media platforms.

WINNER — Emilia Arzua & Carla Lopez



This year, Rebecca Minkoff was honored with the 2015 ICONOCLAST Award. Ali Pew, Senior Style Editor of InStyle magazine, presented her with this prestigious award .


Other industry notables in attendance included Angela Matusik (Executive Editor, Digital, InStyle Magazine), Trina Turk,  Sheryl Adkins-Green (Chief Marketing Officer of Mary Kay®), Monica Botkier and Rafe Totengco.



This year’s sponsors were — InStyle, Guess, Rebecca Minkoff, Trina Turk, Signal Brands, Bernia, EVINE Live, Moo, Mary Kay, Klean Kanteen, Fashion 4 Development, Basic Adhesives Leather, Affinia, Garment District NYC, Pantone, WWD Magic, Hilldun, Leather Suede Skins, Bottomless Closet, Tassen Museum, The Fashion Class, Save the Garment Center, Accessory Think Tank, & Accessories Council.

2015-06-22 09.02.27


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