I am still on cloud nine from last night.  What an absolute honor to receive an Independent Handbag Designer Award!  HBD Network is a wonderful platform for independent designers to be discovered and recognized for their work.  Thanks to Emily Blumenthal for being such a force and making handbag-dreams come true.  The ‘Jayel Bond’ Bag was the winner for The Brother Best Handmade Category.  I received this award by Anthony Ryan Auld, the winner of Project Runway All Stars 2, who is now the Creative Consultant for Brother International Corporation.  I was so excited and nervous, and at the same time surprised I didn’t trip on stage or fumble my speech. post1

It was great to see familiar faces and also to meet new wonderful people.

The ICONOCLAST Award for the Lifetime Achievement in Handbag Design was presented to Rafe Totengco - well deserved.  I have been a fan of his work for years and was so happy to get a chance to speak with him.  What a sweetheart!


So many traveled from all over the world for this great experience.  Congratulations to all the amazing designers who were winners and finalists!  I was obsessed with Larissa from Loyd & Wolf Couture’s dress designed and fitted by Roland Mouret.  Couldn’t keep my eyes off Emmanuel Katsaros ‘Eye’ Clutch and Kelsey Harris’ handmade flower bag.  And I was so happy for Franziska Clamer with Einmalig from Italy who won the Fan Favorite – what a brillant idea to use recycled fire hoses for bags.  The list goes on with all the amazing designers and I wish I could of stayed all night to meet and hear all their stories.

Check out the rest of the winners on and keep your eyes out for the InStyle September issue that will feature all the winning handbags.