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NEW YORK—The Accessories Council reports that the deadline to submit entries for its 2nd annual Design Excellence Awards has been extended through July 26, 2020. The Design Excellence Award finalists will be announced on Aug. 3 and the winners in each category will be unveiled on Sept. 3. Any accessory brand can enter multiple products, across a number of award categories, including eyewear and sunwear. However, all products entered must be available to purchase in the U.S. from October through December 2020, during the critical 2020 holiday selling season. Those who are interested in participating may apply here on the Council's website.

Established by the Accessories Council in 2019, the Design Excellence Awards were launched to create a platform that recognizes outstanding products across multiple accessory categories. In addition to eyewear, sunwear, handbags, fine jewelry, footwear and sustainability, among others, a new category titled PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), has been added to acknowledge the innovation which accessory brands are exhibiting in this area. The Design Excellence Award winner in the PPE category will have the opportunity to choose a COVID-19 relief charity as the recipient of a donation that the Accessories Council will make on their behalf.

Additionally, three additional non-voting awards which will be announced including a Hall of Fame Award, a Saga Fur Award and The NPD Award, a statistically derived honor, based on the product that had the highest sales growth. The Accessories Council board of directors will select up to five finalists per category based on the criteria of excellence in design, unique appearance and/or function, consumer needs addressed by product, appropriate aesthetics, innovative materials or technology, market positioning and competitive performance, social images, emotional appeal, and sustainability.

Each finalist will receive a certificate and “Accessories Council Design Award Finalist” logo. The final winner in each category will then be selected by popular vote and the winners will be announced on Sept. 3. They will each receive a trophy designed by Marchon Eyewear.

Sponsors of the 2020 Design Excellence Awards include the Qurate Group and Saga Furs. More information on the exact categories and rules for submission are posted online.

The 2019 finalists and winners of the Design Excellence Awards used their awards in TV appearances, at trade shows, in social media, websites and earnings reports, the Council noted, adding, "Now more than ever, it’s important to identify and celebrate those items that are truly outstanding in their categories.