Category Archives: Designer Collaborations

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)





The Accessories Council Visits India for Inaugural Designers Fair

The Designers Fair was the first initiative undertaken by the Council for Leather Exports under the Make in India program, which is aimed at design development in the Indian leather industry. Held at the Hotel Le Royal Meridien in Chennai, India on February 1st-3rd, 2016, this exclusive and ground-breaking design exhibition showcased twenty-four reputed designers from around the world, including two Indian designers. Categories featured included leather footwear, leather wallets, purses, and handbags, and additional footwear components and gloves. Accessories Council President, Karen Giberson was in attendance for this inaugural event.

To learn more and see a full recap of the event, please see the link below.

Designers Fair-Chennai

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.


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!

Alex Woo Collaborates with Disneynature’s “Bears” to Benefit the National Park Foundation!

Accessories Council member, Alex Woo, and Disneynature‘s “Bears” have collaborated to benefit the National Park Foundation!

Alex Woo and Disneynature "Bears" Collaboration

In her third collaboration with Disneynature, Alex Woo has designed a gorgeous pendant featuring the franchise’s three newest stars, Sky, Amber, and Scout; a mother bear and her twin bear cubs, from the big-screen adventure, “Bears”. According to Woo, “As a mother myself, I instantly bonded with the theme and story of Disneynature’s new film “Bears.” I was really touched by the universal symbolism and significance of the relationship between mother and child. And in an effort to help preserve our national parks, I designed a special pendant that captures the true beauty and essence of American wildlife. The mother bear Sky watches over her twin cubs Amber and Scout while they look up to her for a shield and protection from the dangers of the wild. All mothers share a common bond of wanting to protect and nurture their child as best they can. So that was the story I wanted to tell through my design. The final element that I wanted to incorporate was the three snow-capped mountains at Katmai National Park that represent a different goal that Disneynature and the National Park Foundation hope to achieve: wildlife protection, habitat restoration, and conservation research. What is exciting about the National Park Foundation is that they are the gateway to everyone’s lives in experiencing nature; its goal is to connect people to the parks, protect them, and inspire people to learn more about them. I hope that you like it as much as I enjoyed designing it!”

The pendant is available in a variety of metals, including sterling silver and 14kt gold, and retails from $218-$1098. 20% of the proceeds from the piece will go towards the National Park Foundation’s efforts to conserve and preserve our National Parks, and allow visitors to continue to enjoy America’s national park system. The necklace will be available at and other fine specialty retailers.

Alex Woo Disneynature Bears Collaboration

To purchase visit and for more information on the National Park Foundation visit

Check Out Catherine Canino Jewelry on HSN Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!

Be sure to catch Catherine Canino Jewelry on HSN just in time for Valentine’s Day! The HSN exclusive collection will be feature on February 11th at 2am and 2pm.

Catherine Canino Jewelry

As a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Catherine Canino has been designing jewelry for 20 years. Catherine’s eponymous line, sold at Barney’s and other high-end retailers and boutiques, launched in the early 90’s. After gaining recognition through Catherine Canino Jewelry, Catherine was named Designer of Ralph Lauren Jewelry. Her tenure at Ralph Lauren Jewelry allowed Catherine to learn how to build saleable collections, and gain invaluable industry experience. In 1999 Catherine re-launched Catherine Canino Jewelry, this time incorporating aesthetics such as gorgeous leathers, pearls and classic designs. The new line saw heavy influence from equestrian and nautical hardware, and gorgeous metal smith clasps became the focal point of each individual piece of jewelry.

Catherine Canino Jewelry’s latest collaboration with HSN will include 20 pieces, with a focus on “outfit changing” necklaces. The goal of the line is to allow women to update and enhance their wardrobe with a single piece of jewelry.  The line features 14k and 18k gold over brass closures, neutral tones and rich blues that will work with any wardrobe, and of course her signature pearls. With quality being of the utmost importance, each piece is hand inspected to ensure that only the best product is available to clients. With the line retailing for under $350, we are happy to say that there is the perfect piece for every woman!

When Catherine isn’t selling on HSN, you can find her collection at Oscar Blandi and in boutiques and fine specialty stores. You can also shop Catherine Canino Jewelry online at or, keyword Catherine Canino.

Thale Blanc Helps Bring a ‘Flutter of Hope’ to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Thale Blanc Flutter of Hope Clutch for Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Help support Deborah Sawaf, designer of Accessory Council member, Thale Blanc in her family’s ongoing support of children’s cancer research when you purchase from the gorgeous ‘Flutter of Hope’ collection. The ‘Flutter of Hope’ collection is meant to symbolize a new beginning just as the extensive research conducted at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the collection’s donation beneficiary, allows its patients to gain a new beginning.  According to Deborah, “this bag is intended to reflect the beauty of the woman carrying it with her significant contribution and support towards pediatric cancer research.”

The recently launched inaugural bag is a beautifully embellished clutch, adorned with three dimensional and engraved butterflies. 20% of the proceeds from the collection will be donated to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. As an inspiring reminder of how greatly appreciated your donation is, the side panel of each clutch is engraved with “my endorsement to find a cure.”

For more information on the ‘Flutter of Hope’ collection or to purchase, visit

New Member Spotlight: Matterial Fix

The Accessories Council would like to welcome one of our newest members, Matterial Fix!

Matterial Fix Jewelry Indian Inspiration

Photo courtesy of Matterial Fix.

Inspired by a trip to India, jewelry designer Courtney Sims felt the overwhelming need to encourage the empowerment of girls and young women around the world. Throughout the course of the year following that trip, with much brainstorming, designing, and the creation of an action plan focused on partnerships with non-profit organizations, Matterial Fix was born. It’s goal: to create beautiful jewelry pieces that women want to wear and financially support non-profit partners in their cause for girl.

Matterial Fix collaborates solely with non-profits that support the empowerment of girls and young women. 10% of all profits made during the collaboration go to the charity. Every six months, collaboration with a new non-profit is formed. The culture and elements of the country in which the non-profit is established can be seen as the main influence towards the design of each collection. This season, Matterial Fix has partnered with Freedom Firm, an organization dedicated to the rescue and restoration of sex trafficking victims in India. The best part about each collection is that even if a client has no knowledge of the background of the brand, his or her purchase is still going towards a cause that is near and dear to the heart of the brand.

matterial fix

Photo courtesy of Matterial Fix.

It is Courtney’s and the Matterial Fix team’s mission to help the world understand that “girls matter, and when properly supported they become self-aware young women who get the choice to be educated. Given the chance, they become empowered to make choices that play a meaningful role in ending the cycles of poverty. We believe that in caring for a girl’s needs across the board, we have a really good chance of making sure she lives a long and healthy life– changing her life, her family’s, and her community’s.”  Through this mission, Courtney and Matterial Fix have created a distinct difference between themselves and other brands in the market; the ability to literally impact the lives of other people and not just their wardrobe through design. Although the creation of beautiful things brings much satisfaction, the greatest satisfaction of all for Courtney comes from knowing that with each piece sold she and her brand will be helping a girl in need.

Keep an eye out for Matterial Fix’s next season collaboration, featuring a Peruvian influence!

For more information on Matterial Fix and Freedom Firm visit and

Alexis Bittar x Mugler

Earlier this Fashion Month we saw AC member Alexis Bittar work with Phillip Lim on the jewelry for Lim’s FW13 collection. Well, Bittar has done it again and this time with Thierry Mugler’s Creative Director, Nicola Formichetti; the two collaborated on Mulger’s FW13 collection‘s accessories.

Bittar x Mugler

Photo courtesy of Alexis Bittar

Bittar and Formichetti have worked together before, designing pieces for celebrities like Lady Gaga and Madonna. Bittar explained to WWD: “This season, the collection for Mugler has a retro Sixties vein to it, so we focused on futuristic physics in jewelry, where sculptural metal is almost kinetically suspended from the body.”

How cool are those earrings? We love how they seem to almost float off the ear, perfectly on trend for fall!

Alexis Bittar for 3.1 Phillip Lim

Accessories Council member Alexis Bittar collaborated with clothing designer Phillip Lim to design earrings for the designer’s Fall 2013 collection.

phillip lim alexis bittar earringsPhoto courtesy of Glamour

We love the inspiration behind the earrings’ design; Bittar explained: “I wanted to stay away from being so architectural, the design of the earring is definitely more feminine feeling, flowy, and airy with the 60′s influence.” The feminine-cool gold chandelier earrings will be available for purchase on Alexis Bittar’s website in July. We can’t wait to get our hands on a pair!

Footwear Collaborations

Over the past few seasons we’ve seen a trend in designer collaborations: high-end luxury designers and retailers are partnering with mainstream companies and brands to create more wallet-friendly products; Neiman Marcus x Target; Maison Martin Margiela x H&M; Rodarte for Starbucks.

This season the high-low trend is joining forces with the fashion world’s new love for sneakers and sportswear. Ever since Isabel Marant’s Bayley sneakers burst onto the scene, tennis shoes everywhere have become a fashion-forward form of footwear, now acceptable for far more than your walks to and from the gym.

Kenzo Vans

Photo courtesy of Opening Ceremony

Parisian fashion label Kenzo has partnered with American fan-favorite Vans to create a handful of fun, warm-weather patterned sneakers. Kenzo’s Creative Directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon double as the founders of eclectic fashion boutique and private label Opening Ceremony. You can pick up a pair of these playful sneakers at their store or online.

Nike Liberty

Photo courtesy of

Another collaboration: Nike and Liberty London have teamed up to bring us a collection of adorable floral sneakers. Famous London department store, Liberty, is known for its scarves, having created the ‘Liberty Floral’ pattern, as well as its beautifully curated store (one of our favorite places here at the Accessories Council). The Nike x Liberty collection features a range of styles, all sneakers, and almost all Liberty Floral-printed; some for running, some for show, like the wedges pictured above. Nike x Liberty sneakers are available for purchase on Liberty London’s website.

P.S. For those of you less sneaker-inclined, Liberty also collaborated with Dr. Martin.

Nicole Romano for Bauble Bar

AC member and USA Made jewelry designer Nicole Romano is Bauble Bar’s newest designer pop-up shop. Nicole is thrilled to partner with the site: “Bauble Bar’s strong editorial team creates delicious jewelry groupings and knows how to capture exactly what their customers are hunting for so what better reason to develop a designer collection exclusively for their accessory-loving clientele!” Not only are Nicole’s designs for Bauble Bar an amazing price point, they are all made in the United States! See some of our favorite picks from the line below. Click here to shop this amazing line.