The Accessories Council has opened entries for its Design Excellence Awards, which will take place on Sept. 3. Open to both accessory and footwear brands, the awards aim to highlight and honor products across several design categories, as well as recognize the brands doing work in sustainability, social impact and technical innovation.
Entries will be accepted through July 26, with the finalists being named on Aug. 3. Each finalist will receive a certificate and an “Accessories Council Design Award Finalist” logo, for use across their branding. Finalists will then be entered into a popular vote, with the winners receiving a trophy designed by Marchon Eyewear.
“The Design Excellence Awards provide a platform for outstanding accessory and footwear brands — both established and up-and-coming — to shine,” said Karen Giberson, president and CEO of the Accessories Council.
Brands may enter multiple products across multiple categories, which include Footwear, Handbags, Personal Accessories, Fashion Jewelry, Fine Jewelry and Eyewear. However, in order to qualify, every product entered must be available for purchase in the U.S. between October and December 2020. Sponsors of the 2020 Design Excellence Awards include the Qurate Group and Saga Furs.
There will also be three non-voting awards announced on Sept. 3, including a Hall of Fame award and The NPD Award, which recognizes the product with the highest sales growth. This is the second occurrence of the Design Excellence Awards — the 2019 footwear award went to Dr. Scholl’s Herzog sneaker.
In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis within the fashion industry on how fashion goods are produced – and the environmental impact that they have. So the awards criteria includes sustainability and the use of innovative materials. And in acknowledgment of the work done by many accessory brands in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a new product category featuring PPE (personal protective equipment) has also been added this year,
“In light of recent crises, we think these Awards will bring a sense of empowerment and hope back to the industry,” said Giberson. “This year, a growing number of our members have footwear in their assortment and we can’t wait to see all of the new and innovative submissions for 2020.”