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A Worthy Nomination

Handbags are a vital part of many women’s lives and wardrobes, not to mention a highly lucrative business for all the major fashion houses, but how does an independent designer make a name for themselves? Via the Independent Handbag Designer Awards (now in its 5th year), the only competition of its kind in the world for giving up-and-coming handbag designers a shot at a bigger stage to showcase their talents. Over 1200 applicants who share a common passion for innovative design and creating handbags submitted entries this year from every corner of the globe (from London to Cambodia to Brazil to New York City), and have been narrowed down to just 40 finalists Clara Kasavina Romeo Minaudiere being 1 of them. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/user/clarakasavina?ob=5]

Nominated for "InStyle Red Carpet Ready Evening Bag" for the 5th annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards (the event itself is to be held in New York City on June 15, 2011). These designers, 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” know that 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.

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.

• Behind the scenes of the IHDA’s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yArkAoEE0l4 • Link to the IHDA Finalist Page: http://www.hbd101.com/h?a=finalists&y=2011 [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/user/clarakasavina?ob=5]