Emerging Makers (formerly the Emerging Designer Maker Platform), an “incubator space” for carefully-selected companies, is showcased within the Designer Maker section of NY NOW’s HANDMADE Collection, which runs February 1-5, 2014, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Emerging Makers introduces the work of emerging craft designers and makers, selected on the basis of design concept, creativity and originality. With its re-branding, Emerging Makers also has widened its acceptance criteria, and is now open not only to companies in business for one year or less, but also to established artists entering the wholesale marketplace for the first time.
“Beginning this winter, we’ve broadened the program’s scope to welcome a wider base of promising product designers,” said Michelle Karol, HANDMADE sales manager. “This year, we’re pleased to introduce emerging talents from the Midwest and both the east and west coasts of the United States.”
Winter 2014 Emerging Makers participants, and their new product introductions, are:
Tina Frantz Designs (San Diego, CA); eco-friendly, high-fashion handbags handmade from materials such as leather, chintz linen, sisal, cotton and velvet. Frantz works on a 1941 industrial Singer sewing machine she purchased on Craigslist, utilizing salvaged and discontinued fabric and leather samples. She launched her business in January 2013, following a career in the interior design and furniture industries.
floWear (Louisville, KY): handmade line of sculptural art to wear. Following a 23-year career as gallery owner, retailer and curator of contemporary jewelry exhibitions, Julia Comer has started her business as an independent designer-maker. Inspired by the relationship between illusion and reality, Comer is concentrating on using innovative materials and techniques.
Made in Rye (Brooklyn, NY): two collections of handmade jewelry and leather accessories handmade by Abigail McKenzie. Influenced by her southern roots, McKenzie’s jewelry designs symbolize urbanism, functionalism, minimalism and natural elements. Her leather pieces, which include wallets, clutches and tablet covers, are created using vegetable-tanned leather with embellishments made in the U.S.A. McKenzie began making jewelry pieces in college, and launched her business in April 2012.
Prang Hanvong (New York, NY): playful and futuristic jewelry and fashion accessories for the modern lifestyle. With degrees in both industrial and fashion design, Prangthip Hanvong’s innovative designs explore links between science, technology and fashion design. Her works employ both traditional materials, such as gold, glass, leather and lace, and new materials, such as monochromatic film and LEDs.
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