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The Accessories Council is a United States-based not-for-profit trade association that was established in 1994 with the mission of increasing consumer use and awareness of accessories. Karen Giberson has been the group’s president since 2005. Its previous president, Sheila Block, led the group from 1996 to 2005.
The organization sponsors educational seminars, networking events, seasonal trend reports, marketing and advertising co-op initiatives, design and marketing awards for area fashion students, an annual silent auction, and the esteemed black tie ACE Awards Gala, an annual tribute to the leaders of the accessory industry.
Over the past twelve years, membership has grown to include more than 250 companies and organizations representing the world's leading brand names, designers, publications, retailers and associated providers for the accessories, eyewear and footwear industries. Membership rates are determined by the annual sales volume of a company.
Next Generation Awards
Each year, the Accessories Council hosts student competitions for the graduating classes of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM), designed to celebrate the work of young talent and provide internship opportunities for the graduates.
The Next Generation Awards: FIT features an accessories exhibition that includes designs from students enrolled in the institute’s accessory and jewelry design programs. Students compete for design awards in handbag, footwear, belts/small leather goods, hat and glove, and jewelry categories.
The Next Generation Awards: LIM is a special program focusing on encouraging the marketing skills of tomorrow’s business leaders. The event features an exhibition by the graduates of LIM’s marketing program, who competed for awards in the categories of retail store, accessory product and publication development.
Hall of Fame Tribute Series
The Accessories Council Hall of Fame Tribute Series celebrates the accomplishments and careers of industry leaders.
Hall of Fame Awards have been given to Elaine Gold, president of Elaine Gold Enterprises and founder of Collection XIIX; Mary Belle, president of licensing for the Jones Apparel Group; Marge Axelrad, senior vice president & editorial director of the Jobson Optical Group’s Vision Monday and 20/20 magazines.; Ruth Finley, founder of the Fashion Calendar; and Abbey Doneger, President of The Doneger Group.
Each March, the Accessories Council holds its annual cocktail reception and silent auction event, Shopping Soiree, during New York Accessory Market week. The silent auction is known for offering luxury accessories and beauty, home and lifestyle items.
Round Table Discussions
The Accessories Council is committed to initiatives that grow the accessories industry and hosts accessories driven educational opportunities and round table discussions throughout the year. The Council has hosted discussions with Marshall Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst at The NPD Group, Francis Cole Jones, Media Trainer and author of “How To Wow: Proven Strategies for Presenting your Ideas”, and trends reports with David Wolfe, Creative Director of the forecasting company, The Doneger Group.
The ACE Awards was created in 1996 to pay homage to individuals and groups who have helped raise awareness of the accessories industry. The purpose of the awards is to celebrate those who have had a positive impact on accessory consumption during the prior year. Nominees are voted on by accessory-industry insiders, retailers, the Accessories Council Board of Directors and the fashion press. Winners are announced in advance of the annual event, which usually takes place at the beginning of November.
This is a selected list of past winners. Winners in other categories, winners in past years, and nominees can be found at the Accessories Council website.
Year 2001 ACE Award Tina Knowles
Year 2000 ACE Award Patricia Field & Rebecca Weinberg
Year 1999 ACE Award Linda Dano
Year 1998 ACE Award Kathie Lee Gifford
Year 1997 ACE Award Joan Rivers