Year Two Fashion Accessory Design student shortlisted for prestigious international award

Year Two BA (Hons) Fashion Accessory Design Finnish exchange student, Essi Peuhkuri, was announced as a finalist for the 2017 Independent Handbag Designer Awards.

Essi Peuhkuri with her Guess bag design
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Essi Peuhkuri with her Guess bag design

Year Two BA (Hons) Fashion Accessory Design Finnish exchange student, Essi Peuhkuri, was announced a finalist for the 2017 Independent Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA).

Just last year, Carolina Ecco, a first year exchange student from Brazil, was announced as the winner of the “The Lug Life Best Student Made Handbag” category.

Now in its eleventh year, the IHDA is the only international design competition to discover, recognise and create brand awareness for independent handbag designers from all around the world.

It is also responsible for collaborations and capsule collections with Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel, Timberland, vitaminwater, kate spade new york, Carlos Falchi, Kenneth Cole, Swarovski and many more.

Essi entered The Young and Adventurous Lifestyle Backpack by Guess Handbags category, whereby designers had to create a trendy backpack incorporating the Guess brand in a young, sexy, unique way.

Essi told us what inspired her: “My design was inspired by travelling and sending letters and cards to your loved ones from the road while following your dream of exploring the world. I wanted to create the look of an envelope, and I chose red as the main colour to represent the passion for an adventurous lifestyle.

“As an international student living far from home, this was a very personal source of inspiration for me.”

Essi has certainly demonstrated versatility as a designer capable of both fashion and accessory design; before coming to Nottingham Trent University (NTU) on a one-year exchange, she was studying Clothing Design at the University of Lapland in Finland for two years.

We asked Essi how it felt to be a finalist, and she remarked: “I was amazed, it felt unreal! I got the news over a phone call from New York in the middle of the night and I could not believe it at first.

“I did not expect to make it into the top five, because I knew there would be many entries for my category. It definitely took me a good while to process the fact that it was all actually happening!”

The IHDA have been pivotal in developing the career prospects of young designers, and this experience will undoubtedly support Essi’s future career aspirations and give her access to contacts in the New York fashion design industries.”

In addition to this, Essi also scooped up £400 at this year’s Student Glove Design Competition, as winner of the sports glove category.

Year Two Fashion Accessory Design student shortlisted for prestigious international award

Published on 6 July 2017
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: School of Art & Design

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