Accessories Council Member, John Wind, Becomes a Permanent Fixture in the Philadelphia Museum of Art!

Release the confetti and throw some glitter for our very own, John Wind.

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John Wind is the creator of Maximal Art. A collection of 10 pieces from the company’s 30 year span has been procured by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a part of the Costume and Textiles Collection.

Since 1985, John has used Maximal Art to bring his love for fashion and art together. John uses his voice to bring women of all ages whimsical and sassy pieces.  His collections range from playful arm candy full of charm and character, as seen in his charm bar; to timeless pearls, all the way through to chic fashion pieces. Each piece is created with a ‘modern vintage’ twist, so they will be effortlessly on trend with the hint of vintage flair.

In the past 30 years, John Wind has taken Maximal Art all over the world. Throughout the years his pieces have been procured by the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and countless exhibitions. The current procurement of Maximal Art was brought on by the latest Patrick Kelly exhibition. Maximal Art was featured in the styling of the models in the vintage Patrick Kelly spreads, which were on display.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art appreciated John’s work and contribution to the community and picked 10 pieces that reflected the last 30 years of Maximal Art. “This honor feels really serendipitous,” says John Wind, “the fact that it’s happening as we go into our 30th year right” he continued. John also appreciates the Philadelphia Museum of Art for making it his first museum in America, but for making the most unique, because its home.

The AC team is so very proud of John and are very lucky to have him a part of the Accessories Council family. We can’t wait to see where else he’ll go!

On Giving Tuesday Here Are Some Holiday Gifts that Give Back!

In the spirit of “Giving Tuesday” take a look at some of our incredible brands that are giving back!

Mujus: This brand creates gorgeous vibrant jewelry that is eco-friendly! Mujus jewelry is all created with organic tagua seeds found in Peru. They use all organic and sustainable raw materials in an effort to preserve the environment! The brand also gives back to communities in Peru and the United States, in Peru they pay fair wages and provide health insurance to their workers as well as working with the surrounding impoverished communities. In the United States Mujus works with the ALS association to raise money for those battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Take a look at their beautiful and bright collection here: www.mujus.com

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Elyse Ryan: Elyse Ryan creates beautiful bracelets that benefits the Easter Seals Gives Back Program. The program allows high school students with disabilities the opportunity to work and create the jewelry for income. Check out Elyse’s bracelets and learn more about this great cause here: http://esgivesback.com/

Elyse Ryan Jewelry

 

 V.I.P. Bands: Leigh Ann Barnes has found a smart and stylish way to give back to some Very Important People, survivors of domestic abuse. Each V.I.P. Band functions as a hair-tie or headband, but the hair-ties are great as bracelets too! Each band is handmade and the women are paid per each band created. Each band is made from recycled handbag leather creating a huge variety for the bands! Take a look and support a GREAT cause here: http://www.vipunlimitedbands.com/

VIP Bands

 

Vasi Moda: This effortlessly chic collection of scarves is not only beautiful, but 20% of the proceeds from each VASI purchase goes directly to the Vasi Moda Inspiration Fund! The fund donates to multiple cancer research foundations. The 100% Italian silk twill scarves are all hand sewn with a rolled hem and printed in Como, Italy. VASI provides an original collection of prints and patterns as well as a philanthropic meaning behind each purchase! Use the discount code HOLIDAY2014 for 30% off through December 31st! Learn more here: www.vasimoda.com

Vasi Moda

 

Matterial Fix: This socially responsible jewelry brand works with non-profit organizations to empower girls around the world! 10% of every purchase goes towards empowering young girls in impoverished countries such as India and Peru. The collection is earthy and chic with silver and gold tones that are perfect for anyone on your holiday shopping list. Check out the gorgeous collection and learn more about how you can empower young girls today here: www.matterialfix.com

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Enjoy your holiday shopping and get to GIVING BACK!

How To Improve Your Social Media By Creating Better Pictures with Matt Sweetwood

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On Wednesday, October 15th, Matt Sweetwood of Unique Photo presented a seminar on How to Improve Your Social Media By Creating Better Pictures. In his presentation, Matt shared many useful insights into how to successfully use your social media presence to grow your brand. Some key takeaways include:

  • “If you are not using social media every day, you are falling behind one day at a time” Matt stresses quality over quantity, so even if you’re not posting a new item you’re constantly engaging with your audience. All posts should remain authentic to the brand and its target audience.
  • “Treat Social Media Like Dating” With social media, always be in the right frame of mind and be ready to post, react and discuss. Customers will always remember how you interacted with them on social media.
  • The best smartphone does not replace a camera. Most new digital cameras come wifi enabled, so you can instantly send pictures to your phone and upload them to social. Investing in the right equipment can dramatically improve the quality of your pictures and the response to your brand. High quality photos show that you are a high quality brand. Lighting, background and composition are all important when taking pictures.
  • But when in doubt, the best camera is the one you have. Posts with images are more likely to catch readers’ attention than those without.
  • Don’t overdo hashtag use. Too many hashtags clutter your post and makes it look like you’re simply trying to attract more followers. Choose thoughtful and creative hashtags that are relevant to your post and your company.
  • While a high number of followers might not translate directly into sales, a large social media presence is great for buyers to see. It shows that you can encourage your followers to shop in their stores.
  • A special tip given was to post photos to Facebook from Instagram as they are more likely to be promoted in your followers’ timelines. When to post is important too: mid-afternoon is often the best time to reach people, but you should experiment and find out what time works best for your individual audience.

Many thanks to Matt Sweetwood for his engaging presentation! For more on Matt, follow him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Also follow Unique Photo and visit their website to view their schedule of photography lessons and be sure to follow @AccessoryNews.

Emerging Designers Competition

The Accessories Council and Lividini & Co. are excited to announce the

Emerging Designers Competition!

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Entry is limited to designers who have been in business for three years or less, and can provide a portfolio, which may include look books, product information, wholesale distribution and a business plan. Entries will be accepted until October 8, and the winner will be announced at the 2014 ACE Awards.

 Visit www.emergingdesignerscompetition.com to apply!

Five Minutes with Auburn Jewelry’s Sam Levine!

SamSamantha Auburn Levine launched Auburn Jewelry, her line of beautiful handcrafted jewelry in 2012. Her passion for jewelry making blossomed back in high school while taking a jewelry and metals class, and she hasn’t stopped since! Samantha attended Skidmore College where she minored in Jewelry and Metals and then went on to graduate from law school. She then decided to pursue her passion and create jewelry full time.

 Auburn Jewelry offers a unique line of gorgeous sterling silver, 14K gold, brass, copper and enamel pieces. Each piece is individually crafted by hand with superior quality. Samantha’s line has even expanded into custom pieces for both men and women. The young jewelry designer continues to impress us over at the Accessories Council!

Q: Tell us how you actually got started making jewelry at home.

A: I was in eighth grade, going on ninth, and on a tour of the ominous high school that I would be attending the following September. One of the last stops on our walking tour of Horace Greeley High School was the Art Department. Most of the rooms were fairly mundane. But then, we walked into the metals studio with its foreign tools such as files, buffing wheels, saws and of course, an entire enclosed soldering bench, complete with four blow torches. I was amazed. “I could use a blowtorch in school?” I thought to myself. “They trust us with this? How is that possible?”

From that moment on I knew I had found my calling and the rest will be etched in history as I spent the next four years perfecting the skills that were being hammered into me.

Fast forward to December of 2011, Hannukah was rapidly approaching. But unlike most young adults my age I decided to ask, or should I say beg, for my very own metals studio. As I tried to persuade my neurotic Jewish parents that having a blowtorch in our house wasn’t that dangerous, the dream of being able to create jewelry in our basement was slowly turning into a possible reality.

About a week after the last of the eight candles had been lit, melted and the menorah was put back in its place I was finally able to convince the Levines that the studio was a fantastic idea. Shortly thereafter boxes of all shapes and sizes began arriving at our house. Big ones, small ones, ones the size of flex shafts, pliers and table top drills. As I began setting up my new equipment my fourteen year old self’s dream was officially coming true.

Q: What are three words would you use to describe Auburn Jewelry?

A: Trendy, Classic and Fun

Q: Where do you pull inspiration when creating new pieces?

A: When I create new pieces I’m inspired by trends, the current market and most of all my own style and my friends’ style. For example, I added Radiant Orchid to our standard color list this year when Pantone announced that Radiant Orchid was the color of 2014.

I only design pieces that I would wear. I love simple, elegant jewelry that can be worn with any outfit.  Our pieces are simple yet so custom and personalized. Our customers can order the silhouette of any shape in one of our pendants.

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Q: What was the first piece you ever made?

A: I’ve been making jewelry by hand since I was 14, so the first piece I ever made was a ring, but the first piece I ever sold were a pair of earrings. They are our spiral plannished earrings in sterling silver.

Q: What actually goes into the process of making the jewelry?

A: Every single piece is made by hand in my basement metals studio. I cut out every shape that goes in every pendant: every letter, every animal, every monogram. I make the sterling “outters,” as I’ve coined them from start to finish, forming the metal, soldering it together and soldering the loop on. I fill each pendant and then sand and buff them as well. It’s a process, but seeing the finished pieces makes it totally worth it

Q: What advice would you give to other young men and women who to start their own business?

A: I would tell them not to give up on their dreams. Starting my own jewelry business was my goal since I was 14 years old. I minored in jewelry and metals in college but then went to law school. I launched the business with a year left in school. Since graduation I’ve been making jewelry full-time. It’s never too late to do what you love.

Q: What accessory could you never live without?

A: My Auburn Jewelry monogram pendant – I wear it everyday, even to the gym and in the shower. It never comes off. It’s the perfect completer piece to any outfit.

Q: What can we expect next from Auburn Jewelry?

A: We just launched our new updated website! And Auburn Jewelry is also going to be featured on David Tutera’s new season of CELEBrations on Sept. 12th. Make sure to tune in!

Auburn Jewelry

Left to Right: Buddha Pendant, Monogram Necklace with Leather Cord and Silver Chain, Double Interlocking Ring 

For more information on Auburn Jewelry, visit www.auburn-jewelry.com!

Start the new semester right with these back-to-school accessories!

This week we’re featuring our favorite fall pieces that will help you or a loved one get ready for the first day of school!

Seoul Print Backpack with Laptop Protection from Kipling
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Photo courtesy of Kipling
Kipling’s best-selling backpack is equipped with padded shoulder straps, a durable exterior and roomy interior. It easily fits textbooks and essentials, plus it has a protective sleeve for your laptop, too! 13″ x 17.75″ x 7.25″ Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Available at: http://www.kipling-usa.com

Personalized Coco Hoodie from Boy Meets Girl
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Photo courtesy of Boy Meets Girl
For her signature logo collection, designer Stacy Igel captures the innocent spark between boy and girl with vintage cameos and you get to design the rest! Anything from a monogram of your initials to special dates can be embroidered on these cozy hooded sweatshirts.
A few great ideas: Graduation Gifts (e.g.: Yale Alumna and UofM Alumna), Sorority Events (e.g.: Mr. ZBT and Mrs. AXO), Sports Teams (e.g.: Giant and Jets), Pop Culture (e.g.: Peeta and Katniss).
Available at: http://www.boymeetsgirlusa.com

14 Piece Scratch and Sniff Elastics from Almar
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Photo courtesy of Almar
These fun & colorful elastics are scented when you scratch them & are a great accessory for any active little girl at the school playground!
Available at: http://www.almarsales.com

Cashmink Scarf with Mariel Check from Fraas
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Photo courtesy of Fraas
This scarlet scarf is the perfect accessory for adding a pop of color to any Fall outfit, plus it’s super soft and 100% acrylic! Dimensions: 30×180 cm
Available at: http://store.fraas.com/1291_home.html

Original Briefcase from Filson70256-main-410Photo courtesy of Filson
This Filson briefcase is extremely durable and features a wide carrying compartment, 2 full-length open pockets and sewn-on compartments for a calculator, business cards, writing utensils and more. It is also water repellant and has an interior brass clasp to secure keys! 16″ W x 12 1/2″ H x 4″ D
Available at: http://www.filson.com

Bamboo Dial Green Swarovski Cork Strap from Sprout100346_83_1
Photo courtesy of Sprout
This fashionable watch is eco-friendly! It has a natural cork strap with organic cotton backing and green stitching as well as a lovely lime green bamboo dial with 12 clear advanced crystal markers from Swarovski Elements.
Available at: http://www.sproutwatches.com

Fahlu Glasses from Web EyewearScreen Shot 2014-07-28 at 3.46.23 PMPhoto courtesy of Web
These unique and bright glasses are super trendy and will male your classmates and co-workers wish they needed glasses too!
Available at: http://www.weyewear.com/en/

Cascade Keychain from MujusScreen Shot 2014-07-28 at 3.17.10 PM
Photo courtesy of Mujus
Make your set of keys easier to spot with this colorful and eco-friendly Mujus keychain! Handmade in Ecuador and Peru out of Tagua seeds, this piece is also very lightweight so you’ll have an extra dose of style without weighing down your bag or pocket.
Available at: https://www.mujus.com

The Accessories Council is Searching for a Fall Intern! Get the Details Here!

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The Accessories Council is a not-for-profit, national trade organization established in 1994. Our mission is to stimulate consumer awareness and demand for fashion accessory products. The Accessories Council sponsors educational seminars, networking events, seasonal trend reports, marketing & advertising co-op initiatives, design & marketing awards for area fashion students, our exciting annual silent auction, social media events, and the esteemed black tie ACE Award Gala, an annual tribute to the leaders of the accessory industry.

The Accessories Council is seeking a driven, hard-working, and motivated individual to join our team as a paid, part-time intern. The candidate must be able to begin at the end of August. Candidate should be studying fashion, public relations or a related major, and should have a strong interest in the accessories industry.

Requirements:

-Flexible schedule and commitment of at least 3 days a week

-Superb writing skills

-Strong communication skills

-Proficiency in social media outlets including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, and tumblr

-Photoshop skills are a plus

-Ability to multi-task

-Must be punctual

Responsibilities:

-Contribute to Accessories Council blog postings

-Assistance at our various events

-Follow-Up phone calls for various events

-Research

-Basic office maintenance tasks

To apply for this opportunity please send your cover letter and resume to jessica@accessoriescouncil.org

Brighten Up The First Day of School with #Back2Kipling!

On Wednesday, July 9th, we had the pleasure of visiting Kipling’s #Back2Kipling Campaign launch, featuring YouTube sensation, Megan Nicole, at The Old School. The brightly colored assortment and the buzz surrounding it immediately evoked memories of the excitement of the first day of school!

Megan Nicole with Kipling

The #Back2Kipling line offers backpacks, totes, cross-bodies, luggage, and accessories in Kipling’s signature, crinkle nylon, in a color palette that includes gorgeous jewel tones and vibrant tribal patterns, perfect for girls and women of any age. Whether the bags are being worn to school, carried as a daily work bag, or used for travel, the line truly allows for expression of individual style. The lightweight, durable material makes for effortless wear for seasons to come!

To continue celebration of the launch, Kipling fans in Miami will be able to attend the grand opening of Kipling’s newest store in the Miami International Mall, on July 12th, from 1pm-7pm. Not only will the event feature fabulous giveaways, a back-to-school flashback photo booth, and free monograming, but guests will also be treated to a performance and meet and greet with Megan Nicole! To RSVP visit kipling-usa.com/miamirsvp.

For more information on Kipling and the #Back2Kipling Campaign or to purchase, visit Kipling-USA.com.

Brighten Up Your Summer with Our Favorite Travel Accessories!

This week, we’re featuring our favorite summer travel accessories we think would be perfect for your vacation adventures!

Onsie Katie iPhone Wallet from Chic Buds
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The Onesie Katie from Chic Buds is most definitely a travel must-have! This case has a secure wristlet strap and can hold two credit cards. It’s camera-friendly for your picture-perfect summer moments, with easy screen access and a secret magnet closure.
- Available at: http://chicbuds.com

Black Lace Garter with Pockets from GirlyGoGarter

GarterThis one-of-a-kind piece is the answer to every girl’s prayers! This black GirlyGoGarter adheres to your thigh with secure grippers and closes with soft, size-adjusting Velcro. Both the outer and inside layers have comfortable pockets that can hold up to 3 lbs! Perfect for storing your iPhone or passport under a skirt or dress.
- Available at: http://girlygogarter.com

Purple & Green Reusable Sraws from Straw Envy
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All Straw Envy products are FDA approved and dentist recommended to keep your teeth pearly white when enjoying drinks like coffee and tea, which can stain them. Unlike most reusable straws, the plastic used to make these are also safe for hot drinks. This pack includes 1 round purple straw, 1 round green straw and a carrying case for storing in your purse.
- Available at: http://strawenvy.com

Hip Hip Hooray Notebook from Bella J
NotebookThis colorful Bella J notebook can make for a wonderful travel journal! It has a cardboard bound cover with rounded corners, an embellished expandable inner pocket for storing things like tickets and postage stamps, and an elastic closure to protect your pages
- Available at: http://www.bellaj.com

Calypso Earrings from Julie Vos
EarringsJulie Vos’s beautifully carved medallion earrings are delicately detailed with a chalcedony gemstone set in the center and remind us of a radiant sun – a great accessory for a day on the beach or a tropical island!
- Available at: http://www.julievos.com

Red Textured Clutch by MeDusa
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Make a statement with this bright handmade clutch purse from MeDusa! The mesmerizing floral texture is extremely unique and the material is durable and easy to clean. This combination makes for a must-have accessory for partying in any continent!
- Available at: http://boticca.com/medusa/

Ave Des Champs Elysees Necklace by NylaStar
NecklaceEmbrace your chic Parisian side with this lovely NylaStar gold-plated street sign necklace with “Avenue Des Champs Elysees” embossing. It also features four little crystal accents on each corner for some extra glam.
- Available at: http://www.nylastar.com

The Guardian Print Silk Scarf by Florian London
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Get the London look with this bright Guardian scarf featuring the brand’s signature illustrated design. This piece was woven in fine soft silk and finished with hand-rolled hems; perfect for adding an unexpected twist to any summer outfit!
- Available at: http://www.florianlondon.com

The 2014 Independent Handbag Award Winners have been announced!

This past Wednesday, June 18th, Accessories Council member Handbag Designer 101 hosted its 8th Annual Independent Handbag Design Awards. With over 1,500 entries from around the globe, this was the Handbag Award’s biggest year yet.

Founded in 2007, the Independent Handbag Design Awards by Handbag Designer 101 celebrates the creativity and talent of handbag designers in the United States and around the world. With the support of fellow handbag designers, brands, and industry professionals, the Handbag Design Awards has become one of the industry’s premiere events, helping to discover, honor, and promote independent handbag designers.

This year, winners were chosen by designers and industry leaders, including Accessories Council President, Karen Giberson. Winning designers were selected for seven categories and announced in a formal ceremony on Wednesday evening. In addition to the individual prizes awarded for each category, all award winners will receive a one year membership to the Accessories Council!

This year’s winners include:

Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design // John Edwards: Florian London //  UK

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The Bernina Best Handmade Handbag // Gili Rozin Tamam: MeDusa // Israel

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The Optitex Best Student Made Handbag // Morgan Richards: Morgan Rhea // USA

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The Timberland Best Green Handbag // Caroline Riffi Ollite-Hopman: Carat23 // The Netherlands

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Socially Responsible Handbag // Monica Frisbie: Mondrina // USA

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Distinctly Denim by Guess Handbags // Tike Kuchukhidze: TIKA // Spain

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The InStyle.com Audience Fan Favorite // John Edwards: Florian London // UK

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In addition to the seven design categories, the annual ICONOCLAST Award for Lifetime Achievement in Handbag Design was awarded to Accessories Council member,  Monica Botkier of Botkier.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, and we look forward to working with you at the Accessories Council!

Sand, Sun, & Fun: Our Favorite Go-to Looks for Summer 2014

After the majority of the country battled a long, harsh winter, the official beginning of summer is just a few short days away! Since we’ve already started breaking out our favorite summertime accessories we thought it would only be appropriate for us to share a few of our favorite go-to looks.

Alex and Ani

Cinnibar Sideshow Set of 5

Alex and Ani Cinnamon Sideshow Set of 5Photo courtesy of Alex and Ani.

We are loving an arm full of bangles this summer, and Alex and Ani’s bangles not only make it easy with seperates or pre-made sets, but they also offer fun colors and personalization!

Echo Design

The Fiji Beach Tote

Echo Design Fiji Beach Tote

Photo courtesy of www.echodesign.com.

What better way to make a splash when your laying by the pool or headed to the beach than with a fun, bright tote. Echo Design’s Figi Beach tote is perfect for carrying all your sun bathing essentials!

Kate Spade

Pilar Flats

Kate Spade Pilar Flats

Photo Couresty of www.katespade.com.

Kate Spade’s Pilar Flats are a perfect match with any outfit, day or night. We love that the neutral flat that is casual enough for everyday wear but can still add an air of dressiness when needed.

Lia Sophia

Aragon Necklace

Lia Sophia Aragon Necklace

Photo courtesy of Lia Sophia.

A statement necklace can transform a simple outfit into a wow outfit. Lia Sophia’s Aragon Necklace gives enough of a pop without being too bold. Our favorite part about the necklace? It’s perfect for layering, but more about that later…

Eric Javits

Squishee Fedora

Eric Javits SquisheePhoto courtesy of Eric Javits.

We love the Eric Javits Squishee Fedora for everyday or beach wear. The signature Squishee material makes the fedora easy to pack, whether its in a tote bag  or in a suitcase.

KOTUR

Large Levin Multi Clutch

Kotur NY Large Levin Mulit ClutchPhoto courtesy of KOTUR.

The KOTUR Large Levin Multi Clutch offers plenty of space to fit every essential you’ll need for a night out on the town. The brightly colored clutch plays with great summer neutrals and adds a pop of color and fun to any outfit!

 Lost Wax Studio

Black Diamond Pendant Necklace

Lost Wax Studio Necklace Black Diamond PendantPhoto courtesy of Lost Wax Studio.

We love Lost Wax Studio’s layering necklaces. A dainty design with an slightly edgy finish, th e Black Diamond Pendant necklace is perfectly paired with a heavier statement necklace like the Lia Sophia necklace feature above, or with multiple smaller necklaces with varying lenghts.

Hammitt

Getty F Crossbody

Hammitt Getty F

Photo courtesy of Hammitt.

Hammitt’s Getty F crossbody is perfect for hot summer days when you want to be hands free and carry a light weight bag. The gorgeous leather and detailed fringe make the bag a not-so-ordinary everyday bag!

Palter Deliso

Fancy Ivory Floral Pump

Palter Deliso Fancy Ivory Floral PumpPhoto courtesy of Palter Deliso.

Put a little spring in your step with Palter Deliso’s Fancy Floral Ivory Pump! The shoe is perfect for adding a little color to anything from dark wash jeans and a t-shirt to business attire.

Charming Charlie

Winding Roads Ring Set

Winding Roads Ring SetPhoto courtesy of Charming Charlie.

Sticking with one of our favorite trends for the summer, stacking, Charming Charlie’s Winding Roads Ring Set make it easy to mix and match simple rings for a bold satement. Want to make an even bolder statement? Try pairing the rings with pieces that you already own!

Tory Burch

York Buckle Tote

Tory Burch York Buckle TotePhoto courtesy of Tory Burch.

Throughout each season, tote bags are a fashion mainstay. Tory Burch’s York Buckle Tote comes in a number of gorgeous colors, and being made from light weight material with a double strap, makes it our favorite carry-all for the summer! Whether you’re carry the bag around the city or using it while vacationing, the tote works well for any occassion.

Valentino

Rock Stud Sandal

Valentino Rock Stud SandalPhoto courtesy of Valentino.

Valentino’s Rock Stud Sandal takes a classic gladiator shape and completely transforms it with their signature studs. The offering of neutral colors allows for the sandal to go with any casual outfit you’ll be wearing this summer!

How will you be accessorizing your summer wardrobe?

Breakfast Bytes: How a Mobile Marketing Plan Can Benifit You!

On Monday, June 2nd, the Accessories Council had the pleasure of teaming up with Qwasi to present Breakfast Bytes, an informational seminar teaching retailers how to maximize marketing opportunities with mobile technology.

Retailers are constantly tracking consumer behavior, and with mobile technology you can now segment customers based on in-store & online behaviors, in conjunction with mobile interactions. This will allow you to gain a more complete understanding of who the customer is, how the customer is shopping, and what is the driving force behind the purchases.

Unlike most other advertising and marketing tools, mobile technology allows the consumer to receive information about your company in real time. Features such as SMS and MMS offer a direct connection to your intended audience. In fact, on average, 90% of all SMS messages are opened within 3 minutes of delivery. A stark contrast from the 20 %-50% average open rate of marketing emails. Companies can not only us SMS and MMS to send out marketing alerts, letting consumers know about sales and promotions, but also to send out transactional alerts such as receipts, or order confirmations, or shipping notifications. SMS is also a wonderful tool to facilitate end to end flow from purchase to delivery with functions such as Text2Buy. It allows for a simpler customer experience, and faster, more convenient purchasing.

Other valuable mobile marketing tools include LBS (Location Based Services), Mobile Apps & Push Notifications, and Passbook. LBS allows companies to use geofencing and to notify customers of location specific offers, as well as send fraud alert notifications when a customer’s credit card is used from a location outside of where his or her cellphone is being detected. Mobile Apps & Push Notifications cause prompt direct consumer reaction through event notifications sent directly to cellphones, and allow 280 characters of text, as well as rich content such as images and video. Passbook, an app available for both Android and Iphone, allows users to store coupons, event tickets, boarding passes, balance rewards cards, and gift cards all on their phones without the hassle of having to dig through a wallet or handbag. Passbook also provides the ability for companies to update their coupons in real time, subsequently making it that much easier and more enticing for consumers to shop.

Based on the consumer behavior that’s been noted, it is apparent that consumers prefer to communicate through mobile devices rather than email. In order to keep a leg up on the competition, companies must adapt to this new mindset, and develop mobile marketing plans that allow the transmission of promotions or transactions with the touch of a button.

Begin your mobile marketing journey with Qwasi now!

QwasiVisit www.qwasi.com for more information.

All About Dad! Father’s Day Gift Guide 2014

While the word “accessories” usually seems to be synonymous with women’s fashion, we are proving that men can have fun accessorizing too, with this year’s #ACTOPPICKS Father’s Day Gift Guide! From wallets, to hats, to new cologne, we’ve chosen pieces  that any dad will love and can easily wear.

Check out our favorites here:

David & Young

Men’s Fedora l $24-40
David and Young Fedoras

The D&Y Spring Men’s Collection embodies an all American style with a twist of old world fashions. You will find a broad range of prints from camo and anchors to preppy plaids and bold stripes. Our fedora is one of the most popular hat styles this season, due to its structured clean lines and simple yet bold colors and prints.  In order to keep our hats lightweight and comfortable for the Spring/Summer weather, we use linen/cotton blends, and raffia paper!

To purchase visit www.shopdavidandyoung.com or your local DSW, Bon-Ton, and Wilson Leather retailers.

Dr. Scholl’s

Jason Oxfords l $120

DrScholls-Jason-C5732L1020-granite-2pa

Versatile style comes naturally to the classic Jason oxfords from the Original Collection by Dr. Scholl’s. The Jason Oxfords feature a Velour suede upper, five eye lace-up front, soft cotton fabric lining, cushioning insole with Memory Fit(R) foam, EVA midsole, & a traction outsole.

To purchase visit www.nordstrom.com or www.zappos.com/dr-scholls-jason-original-collection-granite-velour-suede-leather.

Esquire

Slim-fit Dress Shirt & Narrow Tie l $79.50 & $59.50

esquire shirts and ties

Esquire’s slim-fit shirt features a non-iron cotton that will look just as fresh at the end of a long day as it did when dad first put it on, which also makes it a great shirt to pack for business trips! The luxurious silk neckties offer a subtle sheen thanks to their woven ribbed pattern. The set offers a look that dad can wear for years to come!

To purchase visit www.menswearhouse.com.

J. Fold

Stone Collection Folding Card Carrier l $59.50

JFold Card Carrier2

J. Fold’s Stone Collection Folding Card Carrier features full grain vegetable tanned Italian leather. The card carrier has a slim silhouette and 4 card slots, making it easy for dad to carry his cash and cards comfortably in his back pocket .

 To purchase visit www.jfold.com, www.nordstrom.com, or www.amazon.com. Also available at finer specialty stores.

Ilori

Oliver Peoples “Becket Sunglasses” l $365

Oliver Peoples BECKET  MT CHR OLIVE PH

Oliver Peoples Becket sunglasses offer a masculine, classic look, constructed of immaculately beveled acetate. The sporty, simple style will work well with any face shape.

Visit www.iloristyle.com to find your nearest Ilori location.

Jack + Mulligan

Dylan Dopp Kit l $70

jack and mulligan

Jack + Mulligan’s “Dylan Dopp Kit” is a great gift to help dad keep his toiletries in one place, whether he’s at home or traveling. The bag is crafted from water-repellent 18oz canvas with a waterproof nylon lining to protect the bag from any spills that may occur inside. Leather and brass accents give the Dyla Dopp Kitt an elegant, classic look.

To purchase visit  www.jackandmulligan.com and select retailers in New York, Connecticut, and Philadelphia.

Soxxy

Nighthawk Travel Compression Socks l $35

Soxxy Nighthawk Socks

Traveling dads will love Soxxy’s Nightwalk Travel Compression Socks. Not only do the socks increase circulation, reduce jet lag, swelling, & muscle soreness they also help decrease the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

To purchase visit www.soxxysocks.com.

Vince Camuto

Vince Camuto Homme Eau de Toilette l $57-70

Vince Camuto Homme

 

Playing off of fragrances that are inspired by the allure of the European lifestyle, Vince Camuto Homme isn’t your dad’s typical cologne. The combination of pressed citron, juniper berry, iced gin, French lavender, warm musk, cools spruce and atlas cedar offers a fresh clean scent that is perfect for summer!

To purchase visit www.macys.com or your local Macy’s store.

Vasi Moda

Silk Pocket Square l $105

Vasi Moda

Handcrafted in Como, Italy and one of 12 different print designs;  Each “B” Square is composed of same precise detail, vibrant colors and artistic elements of the signature VASI scarf line.

The “B” Square is a 16 inch square, made with the highest silk quality available with a hand sewn rolled hem. All print designs are original and unique to VASI Moda. The Square adds a sensual feel, sophisticated look and a chic touch to every wardrobe.  For men, the “B” Square effortlessly adds style, a pop of color and personality to both formal and casual looks when added to the pocket of suits, blazers and jackets.

Available on www.vasimoda.com.

How will you be gifting dad this Father’s Day?

Baubles, Handbags, & Scarves, Oh My! Mother’s Day 2014 Gift Guide Part 3

Mother’s Day is exactly two weeks from Sunday. If you still haven’t found the perfect gift for mom, check out our last round of 2014 favorites!

 

Charming Charlie

Precious Petals Stretch Bracelet l $15

charming charlie precious petals strech bracelet mother's day

For a stroke of style genius, try a Charming Charlie artisan-inspired accessory like this stretchy enamel flower bracelet. The painted finish and glam center detail create a cool mixed media vibe.

To purchase, visit www.charmingcharlie.com or your local Charming Charlie store.

Hayden Harnett

Sandrine Satchel l $448

Hayden Harnett Sandrine Satchel Mother's Day

The classic  Hayden Harnett ‘Sandrine Satchel’ gets a modernist update with logo hinge hardware and clean equestrian detailing. Carry by the handles or wear on the shoulder with the detachable strap, it’s the perfect everyday bag for mom!

To purchase, visit www.haydenharnett.com.

Ritani

Diamond Sunflower Gray Leather Bracelet in Sterling Silver l $235

Ritani Diamond Sunflower Gray Leather Bracelet Mother's Day

A sparkling addition to any collection, this Ritani gray leather diamond bracelet is full of charm. Moms can dress up or dress down with this gorgeous, classic piece.

To purchase, visit www.ritani.com.

SummerSkin

Endless Summer Scarf l $49

summerskin endless summer scarf mothers day

The SummerSkin ’Endless Summer Scarf’ offers endless ways to get easy and chic sun protection. It can be worn as an infinity scarf, shoulder wrap, instant hood, and skirt. Not only will mom look chic but she’ll be protecting herself from the sun’s harmful rays with UPF 50+!

To purchase, visit www.yoursummerskin.com.

Roman & Sunstone

Preppy Pearl Marquise Cabachon Statement Necklace l $36

roman and sunstone preppy pearl necklace mothers day

This stunning necklace from the Roman & Sunstone ‘Preppy Pearl’ collection is sure to make a statement! Its eye-catching design features simulated cream pearls and blue and green faceted accents. You are sure to dazzle with this amazing look!

To purchase, visit www.romansunstone.com.

Matterial Fix

Strength and Dignity Bangle l $60

Matterial Fix Bangle Aqua Mother's Day

Vibrant enamel arched between hand carved geometric details, this Matterial Fix bangle is a representation of all girls – strong and dignified. This gorgeous bangle will serve as a constant reminder of mom’s strenght and dignity!

To purchase, visit www.matterialfix.com.

Stella & Max

All I Need Clutch l $48

Stella & Max All I Need Clutch Mother's Day

Keep yourself organized while remaining elegant with Stella & Max’s ‘All I Need’ clutch. Available in four bold colors with subtle grain texture, the clutch is the perfect go-to bag for a Moms Night Out!

To purchase, visit www.stellaandmax.com or your local Macy’s store.

 

Every mom deserves a special Mother’s Day gift. We hope we made your shopping just a little bit easier!

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