Kempton & Co. and Arbol de Vienta took out top honors at Handbag Designer 101’s sixth annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards.
Kempton & Co.’s Wiltshire purse, pictured, was named the Best Green Handbag at the New York awards ceremony. Company founder Fiona Kempton crafts the handbag entirely from reclaimed materials including old flour sacks and hardware sourced from thrift store purses. Kempton was lucky to take out the prize, as she only learned of the competition a few days prior to its submission deadline. Her win will see her collaborating with Timberland & Amorim Cork Composites on a sustainable bag. The finished product will be available for purchase through Timberland stores across the country later this year.
Arbol de Viento took out the prize for the Most Socially Responsible Handbag for its fair trade purses crafted by indigenous artisans in Mexico. These women keep the native craft of palm weaving alive through their work for Arbol de Viento, and earn a fair wage for their efforts.
Jennifer Lang proved to be the people’s choice. Her lacy Luba mini tote won the Audience Fan Favorite title. Savannah College of Art and Design’s Krystal Sokolis showed she’s one to watch when the hand-woven leather bag from her Ophilya label was named Best Student Made Handbag. Harper Jairdan’s Lady Knight purse took home the title of Single Simplicity Best Handmade Handbag, while Aimee Kestenberg’s Aimee Convertible Shopper was named Best Kipling-Inspired Handbag.
Congratulations to all the winners!