The Second Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards Announced -- Handbag Designer 101 Honors Excellence in Handbag Design

Handbag Designer 101, announced the winners of the Second Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards which were held on June 18th, at the New York Historical Society. The award winners are: Best Student Made Handbag - Clara Yoo for C L A R A Y O O, Best Handmade Handbag - Darren Wallace for Darren Wallace, HBD101 and Bag Borrow or Steal's Audience Fan Favorite Handbag - Suzanna Scarola for Bellabags, Best Green Handbag - Helen Marchoschamer for Ecoist, Most Socially Responsible Handbag - Bridget Reid for PFYH Alpaca, Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design - Lui Antinous for Lui Antinous. Judith Leiber received the ICONOCLAST Award in Handbag Design at this event. JUDITH LEIBER the brand has changed the landscape of luxury accessory design.

New York, NY, June 25, 2008 -- Handbag Designer 101 announced the winners of the Second Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards which were held on June 18th, at the New York Historical Society.

The Independent Handbag Designer Awards provides an opportunity for handbag designers to break into the notoriously competitive accessory industry. Designers of the most creative handbags squared off against one another with 6 awards given for Handbag Design Excellence. The pressure was on and creativity took over as the contenders designed competing handbags for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show their work among their peers in New York City, the fashion capital of the world with over 400 members of the fashion industry, including press and retailers in attendance.

The consumer public is still very much hungry for the next 'it' bag and we believe it will be from an independent handbag designer as that is where the roots of true creativity is found. We are looking forward to next year and seeing the Independent Handbag Designer Awards continue to grow as an industry event.
Famed brand JUDITH LEIBER received the ICONOCLAST Award in Handbag Design at this event. JUDITH LEIBER has been a leader in luxury accessory design. Currently, JUDITH LEIBER has broadened its customer base by evolving the product to meet the needs of younger clientele while remaining true to the brand's heritage. JUDITH LEIBER has stood the test of time and continues to earn international acclaim with their innovative handbags and accessories.

Handbag Designer 101 - the handbag designer resource (www.handbagdesigner101.com), is a hotspot website where handbag designers, aficionados and experts unite to find undiscovered handbags by independent designers; learn about the latest handbag trends; see the handbags that celebrities are wearing today; find out about the latest handbag shopping events and learn about jobs and services of the accessories industry and market. The brainchild of Yasmena and Yazzy Bag creator and handbag designer consultant, Emily Blumenthal, Handbag Designer 101 bridges the gap between designer handbag fan blogs and high-fashion websites.

"We were thrilled at the response we received for the second year. After receiving 600 applicants and then narrowing it down to 25 finalists and at last to have these 6 amazing winners, it is clear that they represent the future of handbags" says Blumenthal. "The consumer public is still very much hungry for the next 'it' bag and we believe it will be from an independent handbag designer as that is where the roots of true creativity is found. We are looking forward to next year and seeing the Independent Handbag Designer Awards continue to grow as an industry event."

A Fashion Panel of judges consisted of: Ann Watson (Fashion Director at Henri Bendel), Lisa Smilor (Associate Director for the Council of Fashion Designers of America), Dani Stahl (Style Director of Nylon Magazine), Dana Palzkill (Senior Vice President of Product Management for Bag, Borrow or Steal), Rebecca Weinberg (Emmy Award Winning costume designer and stylist), David Zyla (3-Time Daytime Emmy Nominated Costume Designer for ABC Inc./All My Children) and Julia Poteat (Assistant Professor of Fashion Methods for Parsons The New School for Design.)

WINNERS AT A GLANCE:

Lui Antinous for Lui Antinous, www.luiantinous.com
Presented by President of LaunchBags, Jana Hanci

Darren Wallace for Darren Wallace
Designer makes bag him or herself, by hand or machine
Presented by Debbie Stoller, Author of the Stitch 'N' Bitch Series and Founder of Bust Magazine

Clara Yoo for C L A R A Y O O
Students who have successfully started their lines while still in school
Presented by Scott Schramm, SVP DMM for Fashion, Apparel and Accessories for Henri Bendel


Bags that meet certain ethical and moral standards with respect to production, employment and philanthropy, and have impacted the local culture of the country of manufacture
Bridget Reid: PFYH, www.pfyhalpaca.com
Presented by Kendall Farrell, Executive Director for Bottomless Closet NYC

Helen Marcoschamer: Ecoist www.ecoist.com
Bags made from sustainable, recycled or organic materials
Presented by Bill Bossak of McCormick Distilling's 360 Vodka

Susanna Scarola, Bellabags, www.bellabags.com
Selected by Bag Borrow or Steal's readers and consumers for their favorite independent handbag designer based on the 25 for the 2008 IHDA, this handbag received the most votes.
Presented by Bag Borrow or Steal's Chief Marketing Officer, Jodi Watson

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: JUDITH LEIBER
Presented by Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute

"I was honored to accept the Iconoclast Award Wednesday night on behalf of Mrs. Leiber. The passion and enthusiasm of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards evoke the same spirit Judith Leiber was founded on 45 years ago" says Mary Gleason, Brand President of JUDITH LEIBER. We congratulate Emily Blumenthal and the winners. We look forward to seeing how these emerging talents will continue making handbags everyone's most wanted accessory."

In addition to the title in their respective categories, the winners a variety of prizes such as an apprenticeship with Henri Bendel's handbag accessory design team for the Best Student Made Handbag; an opportunity to have their bags on Bag Borrow or Steal for the Audience Fan-Favorite, to design an original 360 Vodka eco-luxury handbag for the Best Green Handbag; a feature in Taunton Press' CraftStylish.com and a brand new Singer Curvy 8763 sewing machine for the Best Handmade Handbag; a chartable donation to their cause for the Most Socially Responsible Handbag, their bag featured on ABC's All My Children and a free booth at WWDMAGIC Accessories Show in Las Vegas (worth over $7000) for the Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design as well as other press-related accolades, a trunk show and window display at Henri Bendel and a season of free samples from LaunchBags.

The main underwriting sponsor of the IHDA is LaunchBags, the one-stop shop for all things handbag. From inception to sale, their services support, emerging and established talent in the accessories industry. Additional sponsors include: Women's Wear Daily, The Luxury Institute, WWDMAGIC, Bag Borrow or Steal, Henri Bendel, The Fashion Business Improvement District: The Fashion Center, Commerce Bank, Rosenthal & Rosenthal Inc., The Garment Industry Development Corporation, Parsons The New School of Design, Wathne Limited, M&J Trimming, TUKATECH, Leather Suede Skins, Rosen & Chadick Fabrics, RIRI Zippers/Pacific Trimmings, Verve NYC, Digital Plus, Clothing Labels 4U.com, 360 Vodka, Glaceau, POM Wonderful, Casa de Vinos and the Bottomless Closet.

For complete information of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, check out http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/awards/winners_2008.

Handbag Designer 101, the handbag designer resource, was inspired by the need for the handbag designer, aficionado and fan in all of us as one knows we can never have too many bags. Handbag Designer 101 and Independent Handbag Designer Awards trademarks are owned by handbagdesigner101.com, a privately held company based in New York City.

Today's HB101: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/designer
Bag Trends: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/trends
Celebrity Bag Watch: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/celebrity
Handbag Events: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/handbag_events
Jobs and Services: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/jobs
2008 Independent Handbag Designer Awards Winners: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/awards/winners_2008
Handbag Designer 101: http://www.handbagdesigner101.com; http://www.hbd101.com

###