A Visit to the Accessories Council
by Chris Collie, Senior Editor of Fashion Week Online
With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I was more than happy to accept an invitation from trusted friend/colleague Courtney Lanham of the Accessories Council, to their Valentine’s Day press preview sponsored by the Sugar Factory.
What organization is better qualified to discover and curate collections that feature unique accessories perfect for the significant other in one’s life, I figured. Upon entering the Accessories Building on 5th Ave. and the elevator doors opening to reveal the beautiful Roman & Sunstone showroom which boasts some of the finest sterling silver and fashion jewelry one can give their valentine, immediately I am greeted with a beautifully curated assortment of the latest offerings in accessories by several collections specifically selected for the valentine in anyone’s life, even for the dog in your life, yes, dog! Jackpot!
Accessories Council Preview
My eyes first fix upon the table directly in my line of sight which features an assortment of four collections, Edie Parker, Piccolo, StyleString and Aaryah.
Edie Parker, founded by designer Brett Heyman, is a brand which boasts vintage-inspired clutches and handbags that are ideal for the fashion forward chic but a lover of the historic design of years past … including a beautiful silver confetti clutch and a double heart charm. Both items were oozing Valentine perfection from their core; however, there was a particular clutch that was the creme de la crème in my eyes, the Blush Jean Picnic clutch, unique in its detail and reminded me of a young fashion maven’s dream.
The second collection, Piccolo, I was privileged enough to speak with the creative director, Susan Kim, who told me they decided to do a special collection run for Valentine’s Day featuring different shades of red within their 100% cashmere knit fur and leather trimmed ponchos, gloves, shawls and scarves. These are definite items to purchase for a loved one who wants functionality and style in one accessories brand.
Then came the multi-functional accessory collection StyleString, with an interesting twist on reinventing the conventional way of wearing accessories. The same one strap featuring applied buttons and snaps can be used as a band for your new hat, a triple stacked bracelet, a beautiful necklace; it is truly fashion innovation and creativity at its peak.
Lastly on the first table there was Aaryah, an Indian tribal inspired jewelry brand with a nod to today’s color palettes along with design for the modern fashionista. Beautiful rose gold earrings, Queen bracelet and necklace sets along with complementary jewelry which allows the consumer to leave the pre-conceived notion of jewelry that might creep into one’s head when hearing tribal inspired. Aaryah paid attention on the ways a designer can mix tradition with contemporary in a harmonious blend.
After taking my notes on each piece within the first four collections and taking time to appreciate the design and craftsmanship of the pieces, Courtney then showed me her customized necklace which I complemented her on immediately. Little did I know it was a foreshadowing to our next stop within the preview … the beautiful and ever personalized 3D printed customized jewelry collection of Capsul. Fashion and technology in its best form was clearly seen through this jewelry collection. Special features such as taking your own signature and turning that into a bracelet or necklace, a special date, favorite place etc. can all be customized as a bracelet or necklace. One of my favorite pieces that I believe any significant other was find special was taking the actual signature of the whomever purchases the necklace of your mate’s signature and literally turning it into a beautiful wearable piece of jewelry. Customization shows thought when selecting gifts for your Valentine and this collection fit the mold to the tee, no pun intended.
We then left the technological part of the press preview and made our way to the “bag table.” However, this table featured some of the most exquisite color palettes and design structures for bags that no Valentine can refuse. For the eco-friendly fashion lover, Deux Lux has you in mind with their collection. Taking pride in becoming the industry benchmark for affordability, combining texture with color patterns and the ever-essential tote bag and weekender bag included in their collection, any Valentine would appreciate the thoughtful consideration from their mate purchasing one of these beautiful pieces for him/her.
The table then showcased a much-needed addition, a men’s collection, hello Darby Scott! Coincidentally, a few days later after at the Liberty Fairs trade show, I had the opportunity to speak with Darby Scott herself and had the pleasure of hearing her story in her own words … I truly appreciated her sincere warmth and love for her collection resonating with the consumer. I must mention, she also has a women’s collection.
However, during this press preview, the men’s collection was on full display. Immediately the fine leather and exotic skin chosen for the collection of bags and personalized monogramming options along with flask and wallet make a perfect collection for the man in your life who deserves a collection of this caliber. The new kid on the block per se, was python handbag brand Ximena Kavalekas.
My father once told me, there is no faking quality, that fact holds true with Ximena. The quality can be instantly seen through the detail of the construction of the handbag along with the quality of color that is chosen to give the finishing touch of luxury to this collection which is made entirely in Italy. The last of the collections featured on the ‘bag table’ was a collection which infused art with fashion in the form of handbags by Jill Haber. Beautiful artwork combined with exclusive textures make the uniqueness of this collection worth giving any Valentine who desires to stand out for all the right reasons; originality, exclusivity and beauty of a well-constructed handbag that belongs on the arm of a woman who has her own distinct style.
My father once told me, there is no faking quality.
Ladies and gentlemen, for the true luxury jewelry lover in your mate, I can guarantee you will not go wrong by focusing your attention on the next collection within the press preview, Freida Rothman. This premier lifestyle brand specializing in jewelry and accessories boasts matte metal finishing, two-tone black/gold colored metals and stacked jewels. The delicate appearance of the jewelry and beautiful placement of the jewels along with color complements allow any receiver of this Valentine’s Day gift. The perfect jewelry for a mixed Soho-chic look or a red-carpet appearance … the diversity allows for both looks to be achieved.
There has never been a time where eyewear in the form of sunglasses or beautiful frames has ever been overlooked as a great gift for a Valentine; Covry Eyewear is the perfect example. Being known for their one-of-a-kind Elevated Fit® not only will you be perfectly in style but also be assured your new eyewear fits the frame of your face as well as the characteristics. The reduced frame curvature and narrowed nose bridge help the frames sit higher on the face and away from the cheeks. Covry literally has given your valentine the gift of style and comfort, that is a win, win.
From jewelry and accessories to the perfect lifestyle gifts for your Valentine, this press preview literally did not miss a beat. The last table full of new items focused on strictly lifestyle and the body. Before any gift is given one must start with the perfect card, this is where Tamara Garvey Illustrations comes into the equation. Hailing from Brooklyn, this artist truly pours her work into her cards which are actual mini-pieces of art accompanied by interesting unconventional phrases. These are the perfect cards to first show the thought you have placed into your valentine’s gift.
Maybe your partner is into a healthy lifestyle and treating their body to different types of exercise or maybe you both have decided it is time to get back in shape and get healthy, this high intensity interval training center which combines exercise with a club atmosphere may be perfect for you. Switch not only offers unique classes and training but they also offer couple packages where your mate and you can act as each other’s motivators. These classes also include a DJ to keep the workout party continuing, this is truly a unique experience for a couple looking for a different spark in their life.
Keeping in tune with the treatment of the body, XpresSpa literally has revolutionized how to travel in comfort and still style. One item I found particularly interesting was reflexology socks. My day usually consists of going back and forth between showrooms and meetings which can be exhausting on my feet especially wearing hard bottom shoes … these socks were a perfect relief to aching feet and finding the pressure points of which it can relieve pains.
Lastly, for man’s or woman’s best friend, there is Zoomies. A lifestyle boutique in West Village, New York that promotes the bond between people and pets. Offering fashion, unique treats and organic cleaning products to give your pet the best lifestyle, Zoomies is truly an oasis if they are anything like the doggie treats at the press preview. I went home and tested them immediately on my Pomeranian, the results … well, let’s just say my dog gave the preview two paws up (or maybe he just wanted another treat).
Thanks again to the Accessories Council for a look into the Valentine’s Day specials that allowed me to discover some new brands definitely worth highlighting.