Design Excellence Awards


The Accessories Council is proud to announce the launch of our Design Excellence Awards!  In accordance with our mission to increase awareness, we will be recognizing our products, award compelling designs and provide our finalists and winners with tools that can be used at the wholesale and retail level to help you promote.  

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We will be awarding the following categories:

Bags: (2 Awards)

  • Over $1000 Retail

  • Under $1000 Retail

Personal Accessories: (2 Awards)

  • Soft accessories, Scarves, SLG’s, gloves, belts, hats, umbrellas, other

  • Travel/luggage option

Jewelry: (2 Awards)

  • Fashion

  • Fine

Watches: (1 Award)

Eyewear: (2 Awards)

  • Optical

  • Sun

Footwear: (1 Award)

Tech & Innovation: (1 Award)

  • Smart and other tech accessories

Hall of Fame: (1 Award)

  • Recognition of an Iconic Product that has stood the test of time (nominations will not be accepted)  

NPD Award: (1 Award)

  • Statistically derived award based on sales growth (nominations will not be accepted)

Eligible Products

Brands may submit products that will be available to purchase in the U.S. via retail stores, e-commerce, TV retail or direct marketing during the period October 1, 2019 (or earlier) through December 31, 2019 (or longer).  The product may be designed and produced in any country. Designers or public relations agencies may submit a product on behalf of the company that developed it.  Licensed, controlled and private label brands are acceptable, but must be made in the name of the company that supplies the product. Any product that is subject of a dispute concerning ownership of its intellectual property rights is ineligible.  Individual products must be submitted, not a collection, however a gift set, sold as a single unit could be submitted. One product may be entered in multiple categories, however, each application must be unique. Entries that do not meet any criteria in the application will be refused.

Evaluation Criteria

Judges will consider several product characteristics:

  • Excellence in design

  • Unique appearance and/or function

  • Consumer needs addressed by product

  • Appropriate aesthetics

  • Innovative materials or technology

  • Market positioning and competitive performance

  • Social impact

  • Emotional appeal

Review Process

The first phase of judging will be done by the Accessories Council Board of Directors and the Accessories Innovation Committee.  This will be based on the strength of the entry form, photos and application. They will narrow the entries into 4-5 finalists per category.  Finalists will be announced at an event during August Market week. All phase Two will be open to Accessories Council Members and press.  This voting phase will determine the winners.Judges will disqualify themselves from voting or evaluating any product in whose development they have been involved. (ex: A jewelry designer will not vote on a competing jewelry designer or themselves) Judges decisions are final.


Round One: Finalists will be notified following judging and the list of finalists will be announced on August 5, 2019, during the summer market week.

Winners will be announced during an Awards Luncheon, to be held on September 5, 2019

Finalists and Winners:

All finalists will receive a certificate and event “finalist” logo. “Accessories Council Design Award Finalist”. This may be used in press, commerce or at trade shows.


Will receive a trophy.

All winners will receive a certificate and event “winner” logo. “Accessories Council Design Award Winner” from the time they are announced until the product life cycle has ended.

important dates

Deadline to Enter: July 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM EST

Finalists Announced: August 5, 2019

Deadline for Voting: August 23, 2019

Awards Luncheon: September 5, 2019