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Independent Handbag Designer Awards to Honor Rafé Totengco

The designer of namesake label Rafé New York will scoop up the Iconoclast Award at the June 19th event.

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IN THE BAG: The Seventh Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards, which will take place on June 19 at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York, will honor Rafé Totengco this year.

The designer of namesake label Rafé New York, will scoop up the Iconoclast Award, a prize given to standouts in the handbag industry.

The event, which promotes the careers of independent handbag designers from all over the world, will also award six other awards. For the best handbag in overall style and design category, the nominees are Dora Abodi, Maria Lamanna, Emmanuel Katsaros, Larissa Stefani and Andria Mitsakos. In the best student-made handbag category, finalists include Kelsey Harris, Leonardo Barajas, Stephanie Brindley, Carmen Ortiz and Sun Young Jo. Finalists in the best handmade, machine sewn, crocheted or knitted bag category include Jonathan Romero, Hana Jun, Dikla Levi Harel, Clair Kehrberg and Mary Lai. For best green or sustainable bag, the nominees include Stephanie Joy Benedetto and Rebecca Cole Marshall, Franziska Clamer, Jessica Rizzuti, Rachel Santos and MJ Trevens. The most socially responsible handbag award, which includes bags that meet certain ethical standards in its production, will go to one of the following finalists: Cinthya SoledadOlivera Angeles, Monica Frisbie, Maria Teresa Aristeguieta, Bernice Angelique or Ana Alexandra Velazquez.

Bag enthusiasts can select their favorite designer among all the finalists to take home the audience fan favorite award. Voting will take place on InStyle.com until May 29.

InStyle, which is one of the event’s sponsors, will feature all of the winning bags in its September issue.