BAG STARS: More than 1,000 international applicants submitted designs to be considered for the seventh annual InStyle- and HBD Network-hosted Independent Handbag Designer Awards, which were held Wednesday night at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York. The ceremony this year honored Rafé Totengco with the Iconoclast Award. A panel of judges including past Iconoclast recipient Kenneth Cole, Carlos Falchi, Deborah Lloyd, Ariel Foxman, Karen Giberson and more narrowed down the submissions to five finalists per category, which this year ranged from Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design to Best Student Made Handbag. InStyle.com received more than 420,000 votes for their online poll, as well as for the audience fan favorite handbag. Winners included Maria Lamanna of Maria Lamanna Handbags; Carmen Ortiz of LinOza; Mary Lai of Marylai New York; Rachel Santos of Dante Robles Design; Maria Teresa Aristeguieta of MTA Bags, and Franziska Clamer of Einmalig, who will all be featured in the September issue of InStyle.
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