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Independent Handbag Designer Awards Names Winners

The awards ceremony was held at the School of Visual Arts Theatre.

INDIE WINNERS: The eighth annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards revealed this year’s winners Wednesday night at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in Manhattan.

The winners included Morgan Richards of Morgan Rhea; Gili Rozin Tamam of MeDusa; Carolina Riffi Ollite-Hopman of Carat23; Monica Frisbie of Mondrina; Tika Kuchukhidze of Tika, and John Edwards of Florian London.

Edwards won the awards for both Best Hangbag in Overall Style and Design and the InStyle.com Audience Fan Favorite Award, receiving more than 77,000 votes in an online poll. The event also honored Monica Botkier, who received the IHDA’s Iconoclast Award.

The panel of judges included Rafé Totengco, Deborah Lloyd, Kenneth Cole, Carlos Falchi, Erica Russo, Lauren Bush Lauren and Susan Falkner. More than 1,500 aspiring designers applied over seven categories, vying for a chance to be featured in the September issue of InStyle.