Accessories Council Launches Accessories Innovation Committee

The Accessories Council is proud to announce the launch of the Accessories Innovation Committee (AIC), a newly created branch of the Accessories Council. The council kicked things off with a launch party at Miansai Soho on September 14th.

The Accessories Innovation Committee is a collective group of young brands and designers who have made an impact in today’s accessories markets.  They are committed to supporting tomorrow’s innovators in the new age of retail by sharing their experience, network and resources. They believe in a “brands for brands” mentality that benefit not only each other, but the future of the accessories industry.

The AIC is committed to instilling the real-life tools used on a day to day basis when it comes to strategy for business development. With the team’s years of success combined and commitment to mentoring the next generation, they will select 9 brands to mentor and guide in a 6-month program, open to all designers & brands in business no more than 3 years.

This 6-month program will focus on special areas, such as design and merchandising, marketing and branding, sales, accounting, public relations, sourcing, website development & legal counseling, with an aim to create a solid business plan once the program is over.

Applications will open mid-October and there is no fee to apply.

The Committee:

-       Jay Lakhani, Chairman, Deepa Gurnani

-       Kate Falchi, Falchi Designs

-       Heather Hubbard, MR.

-       Kimberly Lai, Jaunt

-       Jonathan Meizler, Title of Work

-       Charlie Roberts, Echo

-       Freida Rothman, Freida Rothman

-       Florence Shin, Covry Eyewear

-       Carrie Sporer

For questions or to learn how to apply please email

Accessories Council President, Karen Giberson Left and Accessories Council Director of Marketing and Events, Leena Gurevich, Right

Accessories Council President, Karen Giberson Left and Accessories Council Director of Marketing and Events, Leena Gurevich, Right

Karen Giberson, Center and Rachael Russell, Right

Karen Giberson, Center and Rachael Russell, Right

Jay Lakhani, Deepa Gurnani and AIC Chairman, Introducing the AIC

Jay Lakhani, Deepa Gurnani and AIC Chairman, Introducing the AIC

Karen Giberson, Center -  Introducing Jay Lakhani, to her immediate right

Karen Giberson, Center – Introducing Jay Lakhani, to her immediate right

AIC Party Attendees During Jay's Speech

AIC Party Attendees During Jay’s Speech

AIC Party Attendees networking outside in Miansai’s Garden Patio

AIC Party Attendees networking outside in Miansai’s Garden Patio

Karen Giberson, left and Michael Kriss, OYOBox, right

Karen Giberson, left and Michael Kriss, OYOBox, right

AIC Party Attendees networking outside in Miansai’s Garden Patio

AIC Party Attendees networking outside in Miansai’s Garden Patio

Miansai Boutique

Miansai Boutique

AIC Party Attendees Networking outside in Miansai’s Garden Patio

AIC Party Attendees Networking outside in Miansai’s Garden Patio

Miansai’s Men’s and Women’s Screw Cuff Bracelets

Miansai’s Men’s and Women’s Screw Cuff Bracelets

Miansai’s Modern Billfold Wallet, left and Modern Cardholder, Right

Miansai’s Modern Billfold Wallet, left and Modern Cardholder, Right

1.Heather Hubbard, MR. and AIC Committee Member, Center left, and friends

Heather Hubbard, MR. and AIC Committee Member, Center left, and friends

New Era of Social Media Marketing: Visual Story Telling

On July 25th, the Accessories Council hosted an Educational Session with APEX Creative at the Roman & Sunstone Showroom. APEX Creative shared some fantastic tips and secrets about the “New Era of Social Media Marketing: Visual Story Telling”. APEX Creative works with brands to develop visual content strategy, create captivating images, engage customers across sales channels and grow brand’s following and sales. They are visual story tellers, who offer competitively priced solutions for brands at different budgets and stages of development. Here’s a few valuable tidbits from the presentation:

 How to save money while maintaining consistent imagery across all your brand’s platforms.

APEX suggests working with one vendor who can deliver multiple types of content. What does this mean? Well, brands need look books, product shots, web content and social media content. Sometimes this includes videography as well as photography. By finding a vendor that is able to do one photoshoot for the website/catalogue, look book, and social media, you may be able to save money since there is no need to hire three different photographers and three different hair and makeup artists. Instead, you can shoot all at once and vary the looks and environment according to the purpose of the image. In addition, this helps keep the brand story consistent throughout all visual platforms.

How to plan ahead and stay true to your brand’s story.

While using one vendor for all the photoshoots, APEX also suggests limiting the number of photoshoots to one per season/quarter. During this one shoot plan for three months of photo content for your brand’s social platforms. Invest the time and resources in pre-production and make a social media calendar and create the actual content. Apps like Air Table and Latergram are great tools for scheduling and visualizing the pre-planned content. Make sure your images are consistent with the story your brand wants to tell.

For more tips and ideas on the APEX approach to social media and visual story telling check out the presentation here Apex Creative-Presentation-LR

Keep your eye out for our next session with APEX Creative later this year!

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Accessories Council President, Karen Giberson, Discusses 2017 ACE Awards

The Accessories Council “ACE” Awards (Accessories Council Excellence) were established 21 years ago to celebrate the designers, brands, influencers and leaders who have helped to define our industry.  This August 7th, we will host our most glamorous event of the year at Cipriani on 42nd street in New York City. While it’s an important networking event, it also serves as a catalyst for consumer and trade press.

I am often asked how one wins an ACE Award. ACE Award nominations and planning start almost as soon as the event has concluded. It’s a year-long process and we spend much time discussing and contemplating our line-up.  We encourage everyone to nominate candidates, then our board of directors reviews, narrows the lists and votes on the winners.  We require that the winners be on hand to accept the awards.  We also shift our award categories from year to year to reflect what’s happening in the industry.

I must thank our sponsors who help make the night possible. This years esteemed supporters include: PVH Corp., Marchon, Caleres, GIII, Global Brands Group, Judith Leiber Couture, Kendra Scott, LIM College, Safilo Group, Signal Brands and Swarovski.

I am extremely excited about our 2017 winners!  This diverse group is highly accomplished and has found ways to thrive in this rapidly changing retail environment.  Every year, something stands out and I am proud to say we have more women in our line up than ever before!  We applaud hard work and accomplishments of all our winners.

Here, some insights on why we selected this year’s honorees:

Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson “Style Icon”: The Accessories Council hosted a Mother’s Day tea party in April with the iconic Betsey Johnson, who delighted the group by sharing stories of her dynamic and diverse 50-year career.  From the 60’s in New York City to her current life in Malibu, Betsey has evolved her sense of style, always delivering unique and fresh designs. Most every party attendee had a story about a meaningful life moment that included a little Betsey fashion (I wore a Betsey dress at my wedding)! Betsey ended the event by giving all the attendees flowers and sharing a champagne toast.  Everyone left smiling and happy, which is what one feels when they wear Betsey’s designs. In addition to her playful line of handbags and shoes, created with the Steve Madden team, she has licenses from fashion jewelry to intimate apparel to children’s wear, to name a few.  Betsey will be accepting her second ACE Award this year as her first ACE recognition came in 2005 for “Lifetime Achievement” (Betsey is one of the very few who has been awarded multiple ACE awards). This August also marks Betsey’s 75th Birthday and we wish her a very happy birthday, congratulate her on a glorious 50-year career and are delighted to help celebrate this industry treasure!

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria “Style Ambassador”: One of Hollywood’s most beautiful women, Eva Longoria has an incomparable sense of style. Her runway looks always include an assortment of glamorous jewelry, show-stopping footwear and elegant bags. A celebrated and award-winning actress, she has many acting credits including her notable roles including her break out success as Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives. She is currently shooting the remake of the romantic comedy “Overboard” which will be released in 2018. A sought-after spokesperson, Eva has worked with numerous leading brands as New York & Co., Hanes and L’Oreal. Last year, this lifelong fan of sewing and fashion launched her own sportswear brand and website in partnership with the savvy team at Sunrise Brands.  This smart collection is stylish, versatile with a focus on comfort.

Jason Rabin, Global Brands Group

Jason Rabin “Business Visionary”: Jason is the President of Global Brands Group and a highly-regarded leader in the fashion industry. He is adored by his team, who nominated him for this award. When Debbie Forman-Pavan and Bruna Maney suggested this recognition, the Board quickly agreed!  Upon first step into GBG’s beautiful New York Headquarters in the Empire State Building, one can see that Jason’s influence goes well beyond the partnerships and product. He envisioned and built a creative hub, where talented people want to work.  Under his leadership, Jason has inspired many innovative endeavors in the celebrity space, from Katy Perry’s footwear launch to the upcoming line with Drew Barrymore. Rarely does a month goes by without GBG announcing a strategic brand, exciting launch or important contribution to the world of fashion and accessories.  The accessory and footwear divisions design and make products for an enviable who’s who of brands and designers.  We are thrilled to recognized Jason’s big picture thinking and impressive career with our Accessories Council  “Business Visionary” ACE Award.

Darcy Penick, CEO, Shopbop

Shopbop “Retailer of the Year”: In 17 years, Shopbop has grown from upstart to a powerful global force in retail.  This well curated site offers a broad assortment of modern fashion, hundreds of brands and has a powerful editorial voice.  Importantly, they are highly committed to our categories with an exciting offering of jewelry, bags, accessories and footwear. Many Accessories Council members and past ACE winners have products on Shopbop!  Known for strong commitment to customer service, the site is regularly updated and offers a treasure hunt of new and exciting items.  CEO Darcy Penick is highly regarded by the industry, adored by her team and Shopbop has thrived under her leadership. Darcy’s personality is magnetic and we look forward to presenting this dynamic leader with our ACE Award for “Retailer of the Year”.

Designer Joseph Altuzarra

Joseph Altuzarra “Designer of the Year”: Recognizing excellence in design is one of our most highly regarded ACE Award categories and Joseph Altuzarra has impressed us with his highly inspirational handbag and footwear collections. He took the fashion scene by storm when he debuted in 2008, with Barney’s quickly picking up his first collection. Today Joseph’s feminine fashion, footwear and accessories are highly coveted and sold at some of the finest stores around the world.  His multi-cultural inspiration, attention to detail and unique voice have made him one of the most highly regarded accessory designers of the decade.  He has won multiple awards from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award, to the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design and Fashion Group Rising Star Award, to name just a few. We are honored to add an Accessories Council ACE Award to this list!

Jewelry Designer Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott “Breakthrough Award”: I received a phone call about two years ago from one of my favorite colleagues, Nancy Berger, publisher of Marie Claire.  Nancy asked me if I knew Kendra and when I said no, she promptly connected us.  Nancy was right, we immediately recognized that Kendra was a special lady.  Kendra has a palpable passion and energy for her business and we loved her beautiful jewelry. Kendra talked about her family, her team, stores and told us about their dedication to building a community around the brand. Kendra launched her company in 2002, with a small investment and has quickly grown into a billion-dollar company, with products sold all over the world.  Kendra has a passionate fan base and understands the importance of authenticity and experience in buying her products. Philanthropy is a cornerstone of the company and they are committed to giving back, per her website, in 2016 alone, they donated over $3.5 million and more than 75,000 pieces of jewelry. As her categories expand, we look forward to seeing even more of Kendra in the upcoming years.  Kendra’s impressive path to success, her drive and rise has earned her the Accessories Council “Breakthrough” ACE Award.

Jessie Randall, Co-Founder, Loeffler Randall

Loeffler Randall “Brand of the Year”: The husband and wife team of Jessie Randall and Brian Murphy are the creative force behind Loeffler Randall our powerful “Brand of the Year”. Jessie serves as the Creative Director and Brian is the CEO (with a highly impressive background as an Art Director) of the company that was founded in 2003.  There is great attention to detail and personal touch in every aspect of the company.  Dedicated to footwear and handbags, their unique designs are found at a carefully chosen group of leading retailers across the globe.  The coveted brand has developed a passionate fan base of fashion insiders and influencers, not to mention an enviable following on social media. Jessie has won the CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design.  Their team has been wonderful to work with and we are excited to be able to celebrate their success.

Jewelry Designer Monica Rich Kosann

Monica Rich Kosann “Trailblazer”: Monica’s schedule and accomplishments over the past year make the Energizer Bunny look lazy!  A celebrated designer and photographer, her timeless pieces are sold in some of the most influential stores across the globe. Last year, Monica, debuted her second book “A Possession Obsession”, featuring beautiful images and stories about treasured items. The book is filled with stunning photography and interviews from dozens of influencers from Usher to Tamron Hall. In addition to her iconic shop in Bergdorf Goodman, she opened her first free standing store in The Shops at Columbus Circle.  In December, the 92Y honored Monica at their annual cocktail event, raising money for their jewelry center. Along the way, she finds time to support charities, the industry and her family.  We are delighted to honor one of our Accessories Council Board members and it makes us very proud to celebrate this multi-talented dynamo’s successes.

Karyn Schoenbart, CEO, NPD Group

The NPD Group “Business Leadership”: For over 50 years, NPD has been a go to resource for industry data and statistics.  A trusted worldwide force, the team works tirelessly to stay on top of trends and statistics at retail.  Their dedication to the fashion accessories industry has grown greatly over the years with new categories being added. They are the Council’s go to resource for reliable statistics.  One of the most popular and anticipated events the Accessories Council hosts is the post-holiday review breakfast session with Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst for the NPD fashion team.  The Council works closely with many members of the NPD team over the year and relies on their support to help plan our events from the SUMMIT to other educational sessions.  This savvy fashion team is generous with their time, charitable and most importantly a nice group to work with!  A big thank you to Karyn Schoenbart, Marshal Cohen, Diane Nicholson, Lori Monaco, Carolyn Cohen and Beth Goldstein for all they do all year long!

Musician and Entrepreneur, “Fashion and Technology”: I visited the Los Angeles headquarters for in January and was instantly wow’d by the creative environment that laid behind the doors. Set up to be a hub for ideas and innovation, the space was the center of activity for the empire built by There were design rooms, recording studios, sound stages, a team dedicated to the electronics division, a sunglass showroom and space for creatives to network and collaborate. A globally celebrated phenom, Will’s list of accomplishments is long! He is an award-winning musician, producer, inventor, designer and highly regarded thought leader across many industries. Will is high energy, hard working and prolific in his creative process.  He has a constant flow of forward thinking ideas that have yielded a successful line of headphones, tech infused apparel and ill.i his iconic line of sunglasses, to name a few.  Importantly, Will also is highly dedicated to philanthropy, donating his time and money to help multiple charities.  Will’s chic style coupled with his passion for innovation make him an excellent recipient of our Fashion and Technology ACE Award.

Henri Blomqvist, CEO North America, Safilo Group

Polaroid Eyewear “Legacy Award”: The Polaroid Brand which was founded in Massachusetts in 1937 celebrates its 80th Anniversary making eyewear. Edwin Land, a Harvard drop out, invented the first polarized film that filtered light.  The innovative film has been used in many ways, but for decades has been a leader in highly functional, lightweight and affordable eyewear.  Polaroid has been used in 3D glasses, by the US Airforce and Army, has often been part of the fashion scene and continues to delight today.  Today the timeless and high quality assortment includes styles for men, women and children and is offered in inspired colors and designs. I am a personal fan of the brand and often rely on the lightweight glasses when participating in water and summer sports.  The glasses are comfortable, look great and offer protection from the sun.   It’s wonderful to recognize this American rooted brand with an ACE Award on this impressive anniversary.

Emanuel Chirico, Chairman and CEO, PVH Corp.

PVH Corp.  “Sustainability Award”: PVH Corp. is one of the world’s biggest apparel and accessory companies and it’s widely recognized as a thought and action leader in all areas of sustainability. From the seed to finished product, PVH Corp. has long been committed to examining every step of manufacturing and the supply chain.  They have made reduction and elimination of dangerous chemicals a priority.  They are champions for the protection of water supplies and seek ways to reduce water usage. They have also cleverly reimagined and eliminated excess product packaging.  Most impressively, they have been doing this for years, even before sustainability was a hot topic. Under the leadership of Emanuel Chirico, the commitment has grown and the PVH team of sustainability experts are frequent speakers and experts at conferences around the world.  When a powerful company makes the environment a priority, the positive influence of their leadership can be felt across the globe.  As pioneers of sustainability we are proud to bestow PVH Corp. this very important ACE Award.

Costume Designer Jeriana San Juan

Jeriana San Juan and Grandmaster Flash “Style Influencers”:  The ACE Award for “Style Influence” go to individuals that have inspired trends, designs and created demand for accessories and fashion at retail.  This year’s winners, Jeriana San Juan and Grandmaster Flash have greatly piqued interest in 70’s fashions through their work on Netflix’s hit “The Get Down”.  The show created in part by Baz Luhrmann is peek at the Studio 54 era and highlights some of that decades most colorful and best-selling trends. Jeriana, who is the Costume Designer for the show is no stranger to the fashion scene.  An award winning FIT alumni, she has an impressive list of credits to her name.  Grandmaster Flash, who is portrayed as a character in the show also acts as advisor and Associate Producer.  Flash regarded as a pioneer of hip hop and is credited with many techniques in the genre.  He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, the first hip hop artist to be honored.

For more information on the ACE Awards, click here.

To see this article featured in Accessories Magazine, click here.

The Accessories Council Celebrates Mother’s Day

On April 12th, The Accessories Council celebrated Mother’s Day with a series of Tea Parties hosted by some of our industry’s leading Moms. Held at the stunning new Swarovski offices in Manhattan, Mom’s Alex Woo, Angela Lindvall of ARTICLE22, Bobbi Brown, Chantel Waterbury of chloe + isabel, Lonna Enriquez of lonna & lilly, Monica Rich Kosann and Suzanne Miglucci of Charles & Colvard, invited press to enjoy tea from Tea Forte and sweets while discussing their designs, upcoming work and balancing all with motherhood. The table was set with linens, china and silverware from Kate Spade New York, which added a fun and playful flair to the glamour of the Swarovski chandelier in the room.

Our guests got to enjoy a preview of the Accessories Council’s Top Picks (#ACTopPicks) for the holiday which ranged from Accessories Council members, to out-of-industry products. Participants included E. Shaw Jewels, Foley + Corinna, FRAAS, Hammitt, HEET, Isabella Tropea, Kosterina, Lauren Cecchi, Liberti, May Martin Fine, Mercado Global, OYOBox, Patricia Nash Designs, Robert Marc, Umbra, Waste Not Nut, Willful Goods, World Kitchen and many more. For a full list of participants and more information on each one, please see our AC Mother’s Day Press Presentation.

The Accessories Council then headed to Los Angeles the following week to host another Tea Party with Betsey Johnson. The party was held in the butterfly room at Cecconi’s in West Hollywood and featured an assortment of Betsey Johnson’s accessories, as well as some additional selections from the Accessories Council’s New York event. Betsey discussed her career and changed her outfit half way through the tea party, ditching a flowy dress ensemble for high-waisted bell bottoms, embellished with drawings from her grandchildren. Go Betsey!

The events served as an opportunity for the designers to speak with members of the press in an informal environment. The press left with goodie bags as well as product inspiration for Mother’s Day stories and beyond.

For more information and the full list of participants, please contact the Accessories Council at or call 212-947-1135

IMG_0426L to R: Brooke Bobb, Robin Nazzarro, Angela Lindvall, Karen Giberson, Elana Zajdman, Angela Mariani, Elizabeth Suda

IMG_0427Monica Rich Kosann

IMG_0432Lonna Enriquez

IMG_0433Alex Woo

IMG_0439Chantel Waterbury and Elizabeth Wellington

IMG_0443L to R: Lisa Lockwood, Charlie Lankston, Carolina O’Neill, Lucy Danzinger, Bobbi Brown, Jamie Wilson, Francesca Castagnoli, Donna Bulseco, Elizabeth Wellington

P1010037Suzanne Miglucci

IMG_0444A selection of our #ACTopPicks

IMG_0455The table featuring Tea Forte tea and table settings from Kate Spade New York

P1010153Betsey Johnson and Karen Giberson


Accessories Council Showcase at JA New York

The Accessories Council showcased an exciting group of nine brands at the JA New York trade show on March 12th & 13th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. The brands featured were Article22, Bella Uno, Caroline Rocha, Darby Scott, Magic & Madness, Metal Mingle, NYLA STAR and Tashka by Beatrice.

On Monday, March 13th, Accessories Council President, Karen Giberson, moderated a panel “Dressing Iconic New York City Characters” with Sex and the City and Younger costume designer, Patricia Field and GIRLS costume designer, Jenn Rogien.

Accessories Council Showcases are an ongoing initiative by the Accessories Council. They enable member brands to test their success at a variety of major national and international trade shows at an affordable price.

1 ARTICLE22Article 22, collections derived from upcycled bombs and then merged with precious metals and stones

2 Bella UnoBella Uno, a new division of Roman & Sunstone, inspires women to #beyou and #beyoutiful.

3 Caroline RochaCaroline Rocha, each Caroline Rocha creation is an original work of art. Every piece of leather is hand-selected, cut to a specific size and hand-painted.

4 Darby ScottDarby Scott, a modern collection of Luxury accessories, jewelry and handbags that will stand the test of time.

5 Magic & MadnessMagic & Madness, a creative outlet inspired by nature, space, science and emotion. Also a “Best Accessories” winner at the PROJECT Trade Show in February.

6 Tashka by BeatriceTashka by Beatrice, for the woman that loves color and likes to make a statement. A wearer of Tashka by Beatrice isn’t afraid to be different.

7 Nyla StarNYLA STAR, a sophisticated costume jewelry collection that appeals to both fine and costume jewelry enthusiasts.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 11.23.27 AMMetal Mingle, a creation of modern, stylish and minimalist mixed-metal designs, made for the busy, laid-back fashionista.

9 Costume Designer Panel copy“Dressing Iconic New York City Characters” panel. From left to right: Jenn Rogien, Patricia Fields and Karen Giberson.


Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.43.47 AM

Elaine Gold Launch Pad

In memory of accessories maven Elaine Gold’s vibrant legacy and deep commitment to nurturing creative entrepreneurs, the Accessories Council and the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s CFDA Foundation unite to create the Elaine Gold Launch Pad, a four-year partnership underwritten by $1.5 million donation to the CFDA Foundation.

The Elaine Gold Launch Pad will empower young designers of all fashion specializations to develop creative entrepreneurial skills and innovative business acumen. The unique, virtual talent lab invites applications from early emerging talent one to three years within their professional journeys. All categories of apparel, accessories, jewelry, textiles, knitwear, and hybrid specializations are eligible.

Framed at the intersection of design and business, the Elaine Gold Launch Pad will apply a design- thinking approach to strategic concepts within fashion product, service, systems, and brand experience, striving to support participants in catapulting ideas into the future of fashion.

Participation in the Elaine Gold Launch Pad will begin with competitive selection of up to 10 finalists to compete for up to five  Elaine Gold Launch Pad Design Fellowships.  Each young designer selected to participate in the Launch Pad will benefit from the CFDA and Accessories Council’s unparalleled ecosystem of industry leaders and visionaries, and gain mentorship based knowledge, experience and exposure.

Elaine Gold Design Fellows will be challenged to develop design-centric, innovative business model concepts with tangible rewards. Each designer will compete for a series of milestone based micro – awards, venture awards, and end program awards of up to $175,000 based on viability and originality.

It was really an honor and a privilege to do something to remember Elaine Gold, a board member of the council, one of the people who had been on board from the very beginning, so for me to do something that respected her wishes is a privilege,” said Accessories Council president Karen Giberson.

Briefing and Guidelines for Elaine Gold Launch Pad will be made available here and the CFDA website on Monday, April 3rd.

To learn more visit the CFDA Elaine Gold Launch Pad or email or call 212.947.1135


“Age of Influence” with Digital Brand Architects and the Accessories Council

Like them, love them, follow them. We are living in an “Age of Influence” where brands and consumers alike must navigate the wild west that is the new world of social media. With the rise of social platforms, from Instagram to Snapchat, and everything in between, it’s hard for a consumer, or a brand, to keep pace. We all know the importance of the influencer but how do we define this new space, best practices, fees, legal AND make a meaningful splash with our brand in the market? We turned to Karen Robinovitz and Reesa Lake of Digital Brand Architects, who are experts in the digital space and the influencer.


On Wednesday, February 8th the Accessories Council members and guests heard from Karen & Reesa, as well as three influencers, Naomi Davis of Love Taza, Natalie Lim Suarez of Natalie Off Duty and Pari Ehsan of Pari Dust, at an educational session held in the gorgeous Henri Bendel store on Fifth Avenue. Appropriately titled “Age of Influence: Everything You Want to Know About Working with Influencers In The Digital Space”, guests were given an in-depth look into how to best work with influencers.


L to R: Karen Robinovitz, Pari Ehsan, Natalie Lim Suarez, Naomi Davis & Reesa Lake

Naomi, Natalie and Pari walked us through the essence of their platforms. Whether it’s telling the story of an artwork, a family vacation, or a road trip with a sister, it was clear that each of these women had their own voices, goals and objectives in their blog. Similar to how they tell their stories on their platforms, these women all mentioned that they want to help brands tell their story and if they select to partner with a brand, it’s because they feel a personal connection. It’s important for brands to think past the banner ad and concentrate on what the influencer can add to the story of a campaign.


Natalie Lim Saurez and Pari Ehsan

For brands to maximum their use of influencers and run a successful campaign, our panel stressed the importance of marrying your brand image with your influencers image. Influencers know their voice and audience. You know your brand and your brand values. In a true collaboration, you work hard to understand the essence of your influencer and their platform and remain open to the final product. It is dangerous to think “this is how I want it”.


While the platforms, the medium, and the talent might have changed, the heart of successful marketing remains the same: always be organic, stay true to yourself, experiment and know your audience.


For more information on Digital Brand Architects and their capabilities visit their site here.

Your #ACTopPicks For Valentine’s Day!

The Accessories Council hosted their annual Valentine’s Day Press Preview on January 18th at the stunning Roman & Sunstone showroom. The preview featured seventeen brands who showed us their top gifting picks for Valentine’s Day. We made a gift guide featuring our #ACTopPicks so not matter who you are shopping for this Valentine’s Day, we have the perfect gift to help you win their heart.

The Valentine On-the-Go

Is your Valentine always on the go? These gifts will not only make her smile, but will be used for her jet-setting adventures, or running around the town.

MOVING LOCATIONS: Nothing makes a long layover happier than a visit to XpressSpa! Located at over 56 airports around the world, treat her to a massage, manicure or buy her one of their spa approved products, such as a comfy neck pillow. Pair it with the Golden Glow Face Mask to keep her ‘glow’-ing at all times.

TRAVEL IN STYLE: Fashionable and sturdy, a Deux Lux weekender bag is a must for the girl on the go! Deux Lux handbags are also good for the earth, made of vegan leather and sustainably and ethically sourced, this bag shows love to more than just the recipient.

BE FASHIONABLY PREPARED: It can be hard to pack exactly the right accessories for every outfit. With StyleString, you will never be without a fabulous accessory. This eco-conscious leather accessory can be worn as a bracelet, belt, necklace, headband OR as a bag, hat or shoe accessory. Unlimited styling and three color choices make this is ultimate accessory for the girl who is constantly packing and repacking.

On the go

The Fashion Forward Valentine

The stylish Valentine can be tricky to shop for. She’s on top of the latest trends, has impeccable taste and knows exactly what she likes. The essentials to any great outfit are handbags & eyewear. Follow our guide and we promise that even the savviest lady will be thanking you (and will be the envy of all her Instagram followers).

HANDBAG (for day): A python handbag is an absolute essential to any “it” girl’s closet. Ximena Kavalekas creates luxurious, Italian made handbags and at a price that will make you smile too! This bag has everything you expect in a luxury item. The soft, authentic feel of python combined with an array of bright and metallic colors make this a high-end bag, at an affordable price point.

HANDBAG (for night): This pink, Edie Parker clutch and heart key charm will fit right in on Valentine’s Day and will be a great conversation piece all year round. The perfect size for your iPhone, and with a mirror already built in, you’ll be set for whatever Valentine’s Day eve brings your way. The charm can be used to show a little love to all your handbags! Clip it on and bring the love with you, no matter what handbag you’re sporting!

EYEWEAR: Every fashion forward girl needs great eyewear to complete their look. If you struggle with finding eyewear that stays on your face, we have the perfect solution for you! Covry glasses not only come in amazing colors and shapes, but they’re designed to not slip. Covry created the Elevated Fit® featuring longer nose pads, a reduced frame curvature and a narrowed nose bridge, making them both functional and stylish.

Fashion Forward

For Your Gal-entine

It’s not all about couples this Valentine’s Day. Make sure to show your bestie some love! Sometimes, the best Valentine’s are spent with your girlfriends and nobody knows you better than your gals! Follow our gifting tips to make sure you and your gal-entine have a day filled with the love of friendship (and some great accessories).

BOW DOWN: You know your bestie is a Queen but make sure you always remind her with this great necklace from AARYAH. If she’s a got a big job interview, date, or presentation, this bracelet will instantly make her feel like the powerhouse she is, and will remind her that no matter what, she’s got you in her corner. Complete her look with a gorgeous cuff and matching ear jackets!

WRAP HER ALL UP: Help your friend get in the Valentine’s spirit with a cashmere Piccolo New York scarf. We chose these great red colors and that will keep her both warm and happy in the cold months. These eye-catching scarves can be used to hail a cab, or tied onto a bag to give it a perfect pop of color.


A Modern Twist On Classic Valentine’s Gifts

If you’re looking for the perfect gift to give your Valentine but want to do a little more than roses and chocolate, we’ve got the perfect way to add some 2017 flair into the classic Valentine’s gifts.

A NEW FAVORITE CLUTCH: Get her the perfect bag for her next night out, or brunch date. This iridescent clutch from Jill Haber pairs with absolutely everything and changes color as the light hits it. It’s the perfect size to fit all of her essentials, but not too big that it verges on a tote. She can use this to dress up her Little Black Dress when you take her out for a Valentine’s Day dinner!

GET FIT TOGETHER: Trying to uphold a New Year’s Resolution and spend time together as a couple? SWITCH PLAYGROUND is a revolutionary total-body workout. The SWITCH Playground incorporates cutting-edge fitness technology with state-of-the-art facilities, lighting and sound. The best part, you take the class in teams of two! SWITCH work outs are partner based so you can motivate each other, have fun and bond, all while getting fit.

GET HER SPARKLING: Bring a little Brooklyn chic to your Valentine with this stunning bracelet and shades from Freida Rothman. These pieces from the Rose D’Or collection, which combines modern elegance and femininity, is the perfect way to let your Valentine know how radiant she is. These timeless pieces will make her happy the minute she opens them.

Modern Twist

Don’t Forget The Parents

They were probably your first Valentine and as you’ve grown up, your Mom or Dad always remember to call you and remind you they love you. So, don’t forget to send a little love to your parents!

MAKE IT PERSONAL: Spell out her name, your initials, your special place, or anything else with these customizable necklaces from Capsul Jewelry. You can choose from gold, silver or rose gold coating so you can make sure you’ll get Mom’s preferred metal. Capsul Jewelry also has the option of uploading your own handwriting and having it 3D printed to make a necklace. Mom will beam with joy when she sees your handwriting spelling out “I love you” on a gorgeous golden chain.

EVERYDAY CHIC: Celebrate Mom with an amazing new pair of earrings and matching bracelet. This trend right pearl set from Roman & Sunstone will help spice up outfits and will become her new favorite go-to piece. They’re also a great look at a price that your wallet will appreciate.

FOR DAD: Has your Dad been carrying around that same brown leather brief case since 1980? While parting with a loved accessory can be painful, we promise Dad will have no reservations once he sees this gorgeous, sleek black bag from Darby Scott. He’ll love showing this off to all his friends and you’ll feel great knowing your turning your Dad into the envy of the office and the LIRR.

Mom & Dad

 For the Valentine That Has Everything

Are you seriously stumped? Never fear! These three gifts are something everybody loves and wants.

THE CARD: Nothing says “I care” more than something unique and handmade. These one of a kind cards from Brooklyn based artist Tamara Garvey Illustrations come in cute, sassy and silly for every type of personality. You’ll also feel good knowing you’re buying local.

SUGAR: What’s Valentine’s Day without some candy?? We promise that all your sugar-infused dreams will be fulfilled at Sugar Factory. From their signature lollipops, as sported by the Kardashians and other celebrities, to their walls of gummies, there is something from every sweet tooth. Oh, and if you’re craving a drink, their signature candy cocktails come served up in giant goblets. This candy store also features a restaurant, so you can combine candy and a fun night out!

YOUR FURRY VALENTINE: Let’s be honest, if you have a pup, it’s likely they’re your #1 Valentine. Zoomies, a dog-centric store in the West Village has everything you need for your little Valentine. From yummy dog biscuits, to harnesses, to dog tags, we promise that your furry friend will leave happy.

For the valentine that has everything

For more information on any of these brands, click HERE to download our Valentine’s Day Press Kit!


The Accessories Council Gets Sweaty At SWITCH

While weights, resistance bands and yoga mats are hardly your traditional accessories, the Accessories Council members rocked all of these and more at the new SWITCH Playground on E.12th Street in New York City on Tuesday night. SWITCH is the latest in workout trends and is a full body workout in a high-energy, club-like atmosphere. Featuring strobe lights, fog machines and a live DJ, it was enough to make you forget the workout (almost).

SWITCH features twenty different stations, from rowing, to running, to agility, to weights and just about everything in between. Exercisers spend two minutes at each station before moving on to the next activity. The best part is, you work in teams so bring a partner to motivate you through!

Want to experience the fun for yourself? SWITCH is offering a special February promo, with 5 classes for $100 using the code: FebruarySwitch. The Accessories Council gives our endorsement, we all left sweaty, happy and even a little toned.

Members Alex Woo, Courtney Lanham, Natalie Kathleen, Karen Giberson, Abigail Cook, Shannon Fresca, Jessica Chang-Russell, Don Pietranczyk post class

Members Alex Woo, Courtney Lanham, Natalie Kathleen, Karen Giberson, Abigail Cook, Shannon Fresca, Jessica Chang-Russell, Don Pietranczyk post class


Los Angeles Networking & Cocktail Event

The rain didn’t keep the Accessories Council members from visiting the stunning Sydney Evan Showroom in Downtown Los Angeles for cocktails, mingling and hors d’oeuvres. The evening also featured a special presentation from ACE Award Winners Rosenthal & Rosenthal on tips to finance your future.

Accessories Council President Karen Giberson made the trip out to LA, stating that the Council has been striving to host more events and opportunities for their West Coast members. “While we are a New York based team and hold many of our events there, we have a growing number of Los Angeles members who we want to involve and include in as much as possible” Giberson stated.

For the event attendees, it was a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and fellow members. The Accessories Council will be hosting another event in Los Angeles at the Rebecca Minkoff store on May 4th. If you are interested in attending this or any other event, contact or call us 212-947-1135.

Charlie Lapson & Karen Giberson

Charlie Lapson & Karen Giberson

Tony Dockerton & Lauren Bruksch

Tony Drockton & Lauren Bruksch

Parnia Pandkhou & Rosanne Karmes

Parnia Pandkhou & Rosanne Karmes

Rehn Dudukgian and friend

Rehn Dudukgian and friend

Bracelets at Sydney Evans

Bracelets at Sydney Evans

Tamalyn Shea and representatives from MODRA style

Tamalyn Shea and representatives from MODRA style

Sydnee Breuer and representatives from Rosenthal & Rosenthal

Sydnee Breuer and representatives from Rosenthal & Rosenthal


Leigh Ann Barnes

Leigh Ann Barnes




Girlfriend’s Guide To Divorce (and style!)

Last Tuesday, Bloomingdale’s hosted an intimate panel with BravoTV’s “Girlfriends Guide To Divorce” featuring Lisa Edelstien, Lead Actress, Ramy Brook Sharp, Creative Director, Marti Noxon, Executive Producer, Cynthia Summers, Costume Designer and was moderated by Brooke Jaffe, Fashion Director at Bloomingdales. The Accessories Council got a chance to meet with Cynthia Summers and Ramy Brook Sharp, who gave us the dish on their must-have accessories, their work on the show and what it’s like to dress the stars.

Cynthia Summers

AC: We are at Bloomingdales, so what brands or pieces should we walk out of here with that are Girlfriend Guide approved?

CS: Right off the top of my head, for dresses for sure, BCBG and Rebecca Minkoff. I can think of more but I can’t right now. Those two for sure.

AC: This show is all about women in their forties, how do you find age appropriate things that look wonderful and are still on trend?

CS: Every person, like all the characters, have to start from their core personality and what they’re doing for a living. And I think when you watch the show, or any character, there are ebbs and flows with what’s going on with them and their wardrobe tends to mirror that. For Abby, it’s easy. She started as a stay at home mom writer and we’re in LA so that also dictates what people are wearing and what they look like. We started her off in the first season in jeans and sky high heels because that’s sort of how we amped up her look, great tops, including Ramy’s, and then throw in a really great jacket, and the IT bag of the moment and that sort of gave her style but stayed within her comfort zone. As we see her character developing over the seasons, she starts to wear dresses, must of them are A line and Full because her character really needs to get around, she’s always on the move and it’s feminine, which fits her character because she is a feminine character and a feminine actress.

AC: You mentioned the “IT bag of the moment”, what is your IT bag? Both personal and for the show?

CS: My personal is a Stella McCartney, small navy backpack and it’s great because it’s all in and it’s back there and the Stella one is great because I try to use vegan when I can. Abby’s IT bag of the moment is not vegan, it’s the Chloe tote because she’s always shoving all her stuff in there. Her haul out top, her stuff, the kids’ stuff. And actually, she started using a New York bag, GUNAS. They have great vegan bags and I’ve used a lot of their bags on Delia because they suit her character and her wardrobe and they’re a little smaller, they’re not a tote. They’re beautiful and they’re vegan, so that helps out my cause. I’m trying to push that a little bit.

AC: What is a star’s biggest concern when you’re dressing them and giving them something to wear?

CS: I think that most of the time they want to know that I’ve done my homework and that I’m dressing their character, as opposed to dressing them. You really have to take into account the body that you’re given with an actor, that comes to the part, because, obviously, that is your canvas. But you really have to make sure you’re stepping away from that personality and taking their look into the character. In period film and TV, it’s much easier because you’re dictated by the fashion of the time, which seems to be a smaller range. Whereas here, with fashion, it’s global and it changes every second. You need to make sure you’re hanging on to, you’re reflecting, you’re staying true to the character and not going to far off on a tangent. You want to be fun and add freshness but you want to stay true to who that character really is.

AC: And do you have a favorite outfit from the show? Or a very distinct moment that you can name?

CS: There’s so many. I guess for Abby, this season, season 3, she’s trying to revamp her job, she’s trying rebrand her job, and herself in a way. So, she comes in with this great pitch to give to the company because she’s trying to save her job and she’s wearing this Dolce & Gabbana, it’s the leaf dress and it’s cinched in at the waist. And we added this amazing belt to go with it and this dragonfly pin. That was a great moment because it’s the beginning of the season, it’s super fresh, it’s like lime greens and kelly greens and whites. She stands out. And of course, she gets fired in that same outfit. So, it’s like “I’m here, it’s all good, I’m super confident, I’ve got this amazing outfit on and um what” she’s kind of knocked right down. So, that was kind of a stand out moment for me.

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 12.51.39 PM Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 12.51.22 PM


Ramy Brook Sharp

AC: I asked Cynthia this question but I want to know your answer as well. What is your IT handbag of the season?

RBS: A Valentino with this guitar strap. I bought the little one so I can wear it out at night and now I take off the guitar strap and put it on all my bags, if I can. That’s my favorite. It’s colorful and it’s thick and I refer to it as a guitar strap because that’s where I think it came from and it’s the Valentino with the little studs. I don’t love Valentino bags but this one in particular, I love. I also like anything that is cross body, that’s one of my favorite things to wear. So, the Chloe cross body, the Valentino cross body, I like to keep my hands free. I love my Chanel backpack and Chanel messenger bag.

AC: One of the other questions I asked Cynthia was if you had a wardrobe or accessories moment in the show that was a favorite or a defining moment?

RBS: For me, I started my company 6 years ago. I wanted just plain solid tops because I love jewelry so much, so for me it was all about my accessories and it was almost like my clothes are a canvas, like a piece of art, so my jewelry could just compliment it. My closet, when we do photo shoots, the girls come over and go through all the drawers because I’ve been collecting it over years and years. And I was never that into jewelry until I got pregnant and then when I couldn’t really buy clothes anymore, or shoes, because you just get big all over, it was like I had to buy something, so I bought jewelry. And it lasts through your pregnancy and it has some value, I can pass it down. I’m just a huge fan of all accessories

AC: Amazing, we love fellow accessories fans! In the context of the show, can you name a specific piece that you love?

RBS: So, we have this top, it’s called the Harriet top, it’s one of the first tops I designed. It’s a silk top, you can wear it 6 different ways. I like to wear it just tied behind my neck, like a halter and wear it really low and have just a simple gold necklace. I love gold hoops. I’m also really into these ring bracelets right now. People always ask if I’m in the jewelry business and I’m like I’d go broke if I was, so no!

AC: What advice would you have for women who are stylish and want to wear trends of the moment, but still want to look age appropriate?

RBS: I think it’s interesting because forty year olds can dress like twenty year olds but I do think there is a certain fine line that should be appropriate. So, you could still wear something low, or show your shoulders, or wear a crop top if you’re wearing high waisted pants. I feel like all the styles could be the same in many ways. You just have to make sure you wear it appropriately, then it’s fine. Like maybe it’s wearing a little jacket or a little shrug, or something that doesn’t make it seem like you’re trying to go back in time. Women really care about their bodies and how they look and want to look and feel great, and the clothing and the accessories help them do that.

AC: This show follows a woman who has gone through a divorce, she’s gotten fired from her job, she’s been through a lot. We are big believers that accessories and clothing add a dimension to you and your confidence. How do you think clothing and accessories can add to that?

RBS: I think it’s important. You know growing up, my Mother always made us dress up, even like on an airplane or if we went out to dinner. She just felt we should be dressed a certain way so people treated us a certain way. I think there’s a time and a place to dress down and there’s a time and place to dress up but the most important thing is that however you dress, make sure you’re confident and you feel good because people will be able to see right through you. And the accessories as well, like it may not make sense to wear big earrings and a big necklace and a big bracelet, you don’t have to add it all up. If you put on those special pieces that sparkle and make you shine, I think that’s all you need.

AC: Any designers we should be on the lookout for?

RBS: Some of my favorite designers are Loree Rodkin, I think her stuff is very cool. Jacquie Aiche, her things that are a little more feminine but if you layer it up it’s pretty sexy. And I’m a big fan of Jennifer Fisher. She really is so cool and so talented and just a nice girl. She’s one of the people I went to for advice when I started my company and she’s still really helpful.

The interviews were followed by a panel discussion, in which the four women talked about approaching the uncomfortable topic of divorce, Ramy and Cynthia’s artistic influences and impact on the show and Lisa’s experience with looking and embodying Abby. Attendees left with great swag bags, filled with mini bottle of champagne, monogramed “Girlfriend’s Guide To Divorce” champagne glasses and a Jo Malone + Ramy Brook candle. Thank you again to Bloomingdales for a great evening and getting us excited to tune in for Season 3 on BravoTV!

How To Have An Accessorized New Year’s Eve

There are many fabulous things about the New Year: champagne, glitter, good friends, and of course, great accessories. We’ve seen a great year for accessories in 2016 and as we gear up for what 2017 has in store, we wanted to visit some of our favorite trends and Accessories Council member’s items to help you create the perfect look to welcome in 2017. The great thing about investing in accessories? They’re reusable all year round! Be honest, how many times have you worn that sequin dress you bought two years ago?

The Big Night Out aka New Year’s Eve

We might be biased but it’s our humble opinion that most your New Year’s Eve expenses should be accessories related. We recommend going into your closet and pulling out your LBD (or check out this cute one from Rebecca Minkoff ) and dressing it up with some of these picks.

For your ears: Rainbow was a big trend in 2016 and we can’t get enough of these fun, front-back earrings from Sarah Magid. Plus, we love how they are reminiscent of New Year’s Eve Fireworks!

For your lipstick+ wallet+ keys: We aren’t over touches of velvet and we don’t see this popular trend going anywhere. Tyler Ellis’ chic, velvet clutch will fit everything you need for the evening. This item will pull any outfit together, all season long.

For your feet: Heels- every girl’s nightmare on New Year’s Eve. You need a stiletto that you can dance in all night long! That’s why we recommend Marion Parke- a podiatrist turned designer. With an arch support, added material to support the rearfoot and ankle, as well as medical grade material for cushioning that molds to the foot over time, you won’t be barefoot or seated once all night!

For your neck: This necklace from Eriness might look simple but this elegant, 14K gold diamond bar is anything but. This necklace will draw the eye to the neckline and doesn’t compete with the fun rainbow earrings. No New Year’s outfit is complete without some glitz or diamonds!

Other essentials 

  • glitter: for celebrating!
  • lumee: for memorializing the evening with your friends


Under the New Year’s Sun

So you’re on the beach soaking in 2017? Just because you’re relaxing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t embrace this season’s best beach accessories! If you’re like us and returning to gloomy weather, these picks will still look great come Summer 2017.

For your feet: Jack Roger’s quality, whipstiched leather sandals look great headed to the beach, the boat, or the local crab shack. The neutral color matches your entire wardrobe and the unique monogramming will help remind you to write 2017 not 2016!

For your dip in the ocean: Every great beach getaway calls for great swim wear. We love to mix and match our tops and bottoms, like this Tory Sport bikini top and swim RISE bottom. This seventy inspired top features four-way stretch, is quick drying, and has UPF 50 sun protection. Oh, and if you’re feeling less than spectacular about your bikini body, swim RISE’s skirt-like garment has a compression band built into the top, leaving you feeling confident and ready to bare it all.

For blocking rays: Despite the obvious benefits of sun protection, this adorable straw hat from Luxchilas supports local artisans. Handmade in Columbia by Wayuu artisans, it has a flat-shaped brim that can be turned up or down and the fun pompoms add a touch of color to your look.

For FURTHER blocking rays: No beach outfit is complete without shades. Block the sun, take a nap or secretly scope out other beach goers in these Alex shades by Freida Rothman.

For dessert: Craving ice cream but want to skip the indulgence? This clutch from Paige Gamble, a New York City atelier is cute, playful and zero calories. Plus, it holds all your beach necessities without weighing you down.

Other essentials

  • smartwater: to stay hydrated in the sun
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF: a sunburn is not an accessory we recommend, stay protected!




You Knew This Was Coming

Ah, the inevitable morning after. You stayed up too late, had one too many glasses of champagne or you just want to end your holidays in comfort. There is a way to look great (even if you don’t feel great).


For lounging around: Cozy up on your couch in this 100% cashmere hoodie from Johnston’s of Elgin. Knitted in Scotland, this top will help keep you warm and comfy all day (and year!) long.

For your feet: Need to slip on some shoes when you run out for your recovery bagel sandwich? These breathable, flexible, sneakers from the jibs life are just what you need! Handmade in Brazil and designed with supreme comfort in mind, we promise these will become your new go-to shoes!

For your eyes (indoor and outdoor)

Indoor: after being out till the wee hours of the night, you don’t need 2017’s sun rays interrupting your sleep. Block out the world and get the sleep you deserve with this lux sleep mask from Perpetual Shade. All who might try and disturb you will see the message loud & clear, DON’T WAKE ME UP!

Outdoor: if you make it outside on New Year’s Day, you’re going to need some shades. With a reduced frame curvature, long nose pads and narrowed nose bridge, this pair from Covry will stay on your face. No more continuously pushing up of your glasses, or seeing them slowly slip off your nose as your struggle to carry home your takeout.

For your head: Slept on your blowout? Hair matted from hairspray? Pull your look together and hide all signs of bed head with this trendy leather cap from Kate Spade.

For your room: Help relax, unwind and find some zen after a long night with this candle from Yankee Scent Systems. With a blend of musk, patchouli, sage and mahogany, this candle turns any room into your personal oasis.

Other necessities

  • Gatorade: replenish electrolytes lost to champagne and re-hydrate
  • Advil: combat headache and any body aches caused by wearing heels


The Doneger Group & Accessories Council Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The Accessories Council was proud to unveil The Doneger Group/Accessories Council Classroom at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on December 13th at its Annual Open Board Meeting. Dr. Joyce F. Brown, Fashion Institute of Technology President; Abbey Doneger, The Doneger Group President and CEO and Karen Giberson, Accessories Council President, were on site for a ribbon cutting for the classroom designed for students of the accessories program. The funds for the classroom were raised by both proceeds from the Accessories Council Hall of Fame, which honored Abbey Doneger, and the 2015 ACE Awards Tribute Edition Journal.

The state-of-the-art classroom includes movable desks and chairs so the room can be set up in any style and desk tops that prop up to become drawing/drafting boards for traditional art classes. The classroom also features many hi-tech advancements such as Macbook Air lap tops, a printing and scanning station in the room so students can draw, scan, digitize and print their work in one room, creative Interactive Pen Display monitors with Mac Pro computers and a state-of-the-art projector, LED HD TV and sound system for presentations.

Karen Giberson said “The Doneger Group and Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) have been long time friends and collaborators of the Accessories Council.  We are very proud of our partnership and this classroom is the product of many hours of work and support from our board, our Hall of Fame events and a portion of our ACE Journal proceeds.”

The Doneger Design Lab ribbon cutting The Doneger Design Lab ribbon cutting

2016 AC Cares

On November 29th and 30th, 2016 the Accessories Council hosted the inaugural annual AC Cares charity event. This event was the first time the accessory industry came together to volunteer and give back, over 140 companies and individuals participated. There were various ways to contribute to the initiative; companies were able to volunteer time, donate beads, donate product to the silent auction and general sale or join the Council at the event to shop for a cause! The Council also joined forces with The 92Y’s Beads for Love program where volunteers helped children bead necklaces for parents and caregivers at The WIN Shelter and a New York City Public School. Sales proceeds were shared three ways between the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, Glasgow Caledonian University’s Fair Fashion Center and the Accessories Council. The AC Cares cocktail party was sponsored by R.J. Graziano.

1Kate Falchi placing a bid at the silent auction.


Items at the AC Cares Silent Auction.


Rachel Darcy and Hanna J. Grey of Andronike.


R.J. Graziano and Lindsey Kress of R.J. Graziano at the silent auction

5Accessories Council President Karen Giberson and Holly Granofsky of the Social Sparkle


Accessories Council members shop at the general sale7


Florence Shin and Athina Wang, Co-Founders of Covry


Cara Smyth and Maggie Kervick of Glasgow Caledonian University


AC Members and friends at the silent auction10

Karen Giberson, Accessories Council President11

Frank Zambrelli, Accessories Council Chairman and Co-Founder at Banfi Zambrelli


Audra Moran, CEO of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance

The Accessories Council Showcase Goes To The 2016 PROJECT Women’s Show

The Accessories Council was proud to host a booth at the August PROJECT Women’s show in Las Vegas.  The Council began a partnership with the MAGIC trade show in 2012 and has continued to show in Las Vegas each season since.  The Council commits to a booth space and divides it into smaller spaces, offering their members a chance to try out the show before committing to a full booth.  The Council coordinates the details with the show, helps prepare the attendees, promotes the collective group actively before and during the show.  After a few seasons with the AC, the brand, should they want to continue a particular show, must go out on their own.

Council President, Karen Giberson, feels this is an important membership benefit and over the years has allowed hundreds of their companies to try new shows.  The Council attends approximately 12 shows a year, from jewelry focused shows to the PGA Show in Orlando to Premiere Classe in Paris.  They take designers to India for a leather fair and are committed to continuing to find opportunities to help their members sell more product.

A side benefit for participants is the support network that develop in the booth.  “We have seen collaborations amongst our members continue far beyond the show,” explained Giberson. “From PR collaborations, to mentoring and group trunk shows, our members genuinely enjoy working together and we love to watch it in action!” For the Council, the shows allow them to stay in touch with members, assist on the ground and meet new companies.

For a list of upcoming shows and events, visit or email for details.

A few participants from the August show include:

  • Piccolo New York, an upcoming cashmere accessories brand that’s getting a lot of positive response from buyers – Calyso St. Barth, Walin & Wolff, Frances Kahn & Julian Gold to name a few. As a New York based collection, we wanted to expand our exposure further to the West Coast and by showcasing with Accessories Council @ Project Womens, we have been able to get in front of a lot of West Coast based and international buyers.  Accessories Council has been a great platform and has been tremendous in helping us increase visibility, and in networking with others in the fashion accessories industry. We believe in helping women and children’s initiatives, and are currently very actively involved in supporting 2 amazing organizations with that goal – Hearts of Gold, and Zimele USA.  We hope to continue increasing our support for these charities, through the success of our business.


  • Elle & Jae Gypset newly launched in Fall 2016 is actively looking to grow our boutique business and the showcase at PROJECT is a great way to introduce the brand to the buying community. We picked up boutiques both on the east and west coast, but one of our main objectives was to meet with accounts that may not travel to New York for market.  Elle & Jae Gypset is a line of ethically produced handbags for bon vivants who live and play around the world…whether she’s off to the next music festival in Europe or surfing the beaches of Montauk, she likes to look and feel good about what she’s wearing. P1040814
  • Angel By L. Martino is a new handbag line launched by L+ Leung Design Group. The bags are all leather and made in India. This new line has a beautiful artisan feel that is designed for a relaxed lifestyle with a modern edge. The Accessories Council Showcase at PROJECT Women’s is incredibly valuable to a new brand such as ours. Being able to test out a show at a reasonable rate while gaining exposure for our newly launched handbag line is an incredible opportunity for us.


  • Ollie Quinn’s fashion introduction has been momentous.  Our award-winning O-shape silhouette handbags are inspired by vintage hatboxes and uniquely celebrate heroines from yesteryear in Modern Americana.  Following a series of major press and honors, the opportunity to join the Accessories Council for the showcase at PROJECT was a timely introduction to wholesale business. Joining the AC Showcase enabled the introduction of our brand where we sit at retail while allowing us to nurture professional relationships across the globe.  Our trade-show experience gave prestige in building B2B with new retailers and prospects.  Ollie Quinn is found in an international sensibility; the Ollie customer is a global nomad in heels with a handbag.  We had an awesome experience receiving introductions and orders from across the globe.  The exposure of fashion’s largest trade event was invaluable.P1040822
  • Exhibiting with the Accessories Council at Project initially meant growing brand presence and sales. However, an unexpected yet truly great experience was meeting the other designers sharing the booth. Hearing their stories, processes, and insights is truly invaluable for a young brand like STYLESTRING. Though these relationships are new, having an open dialogue with contemporaries can lead to a positive support network and even collaboration down the line. I am so happy to have met such a wonderful group of dynamic, creative women.P1040812 (1)





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