I'm a huge fan of supporting new designers. Over the past few years I had the opportunity to be a part of the Handbag Designer Awards. It is a special awards event to discover new handbag designers from around the world.
If you're not familiar with the awards, you should be. It was started over seven years ago by the brilliant Emily Blumenthal. It is amazing for newbie brands since it allows anyone from all over the world to enter their handbag design for a chance to win. At the very least be seen. Designers submit their designs and then are judged by fashion industry insiders. This gives them a further chance to be featured in magazines and other press. For some winners even an opportunity to be nationally seen on the Today Show.
Aside from the incredible exposure, the bags are available to be purchased on handbagdesigner101.com. Visitors can shop instantly for unique bags which also give these designers a boutique like atmosphere to see thier pieces sold at. Normally it would take years for designers to be recognized and then sold in stores.
I have discovered amazing clutches and sweet satchels from other countries I would have never known about. Supporting young designers feels incredible. Have the really "It" bag is a dream.