AF-2018-NEGS-145 AF-2018-NEGS-116 AF-2018-NEGS-137(From L to R: Winners Bhavesh Patel – Storyteller; Sarah Ward opening the awards; Winners Mala leather)

The Giftware Association held its first BTAA Fashion Accessory of the Year awards, since taking over administration of the association. The awards ceremony, taking place on the first day of Autumn fair, celebrated the best in functional fashion and design across the travel goods, handbags and fashion accessories industry.

Sarah Ward, CEO of the Giftware Association, said of the awards “It’s a heritage we are very proud to now be a part of, stretching back a whole century. Over that time, what was at first the Saddlery, Harness and General Leather Goods Manufacturers’ Association has undergone many changes, all while keeping the same continuous legacy which we hope to grow with supporting manufacturers and distributors of leather goods, travel goods and fashion accessories throughout the UK.”

The competition is now in its 8th year, and attracted a wide variety of products encompassing categories such as Made in Britain, Fashion Jewellery, Fashion Handbags, Luggage and Travel and Small Leather Goods, and the quality of the entries keeps increasing.

(Winners Lash, Shrieking Violet; the awards ceremony)

Judging took place online with a wide rage of judges from product testing company UL, Trade press with Sue Marks from Max Publishing and Katie Taylor from Attire Accessories

Luke Palmer who took over the managing of the project stated “We are currently facing tough trading conditions with the added uncertainty of Brexit. It is therefore vital that companies innovate each year both in functionality and design. A number of companies have incorporated technology into their products, such as RFID protectors in wallets and purses. Others have focused on eye-catching designs such as quirky patterns, animal prints and statement gems.”

The winners in each category will receive a fantastic prize of £500 towards exhibiting at Autumn Fair 2018, together with the fashion accessory of the year glass engraved award. The highly commended entrants will receive £100 towards exhibiting at Autumn Fair 2018 and a glass engraved award.


 Fashion Jewellery Category

                Highly Commended – The Happy News – Widdop & Co

                Winner – Flower Jewellery – Shrieking Violet

Fashion Handbags Category

                Highly Commended – NEW Kyo Silver Coral Cross Body Bag – Mame Huku

                Winner – Tudor Back Pack – Mala Leather

Luggage and Travel Category

               Highly Commended – Storyteller FlagMate – Storyteller

              Winner – Tickle Luggage Tags – Really Good Ltd & Soul UK

Fashion Accessories Category

              Highly Commended – Tweed Wraps – Earth Squared Ltd

              Winner – Wool Blend Fedora hats – Peace of Mind

Made In Britain Category

             Highly Commended – London Town Neckerchew – Cheeky Chompers Ltd

             Winner – M02 Multi Sheepskin Mittens – Owen Barry

Small Leather Goods Category

              Highly Commended – Storyteller FlagMate – Storyteller

               Winner – Kalmin Carbon Fibre – Mala Leather















Are you a winner?  One week left for submissions, competition must close this Friday. Feature the star of your collection!

The eagerly anticipated Fashion Accessory of the Year Awards 2018 (sponsored by Autumn Fair) is open for entries.

Please visit our dedicated competition website for further information by clicking here.

We are delighted to announce that the Fashion Accessory of the Year Awards Ceremony will take place on the 2nd September at Autumn Fair 2018 (Hall 4), at the Fashion Hub.

The BTAA Fashion Accessory of the Year Awards is now firmly established as one of the largest showcase events in the trade association calendar. This prestigious award ceremony is eagerly anticipated by BTAA members as a chance to showcase their hard work and achievements during the previous 12 months.


The Fashion Accessory Awards is open to all members and non-members of the BTAA Association and Autumn Fair Exhibitors, regardless of size or sector and we strongly urge you to take advantage of this flagship event.

All applications must be received no later than 16.00hrs on Friday 17th August, 2018. You have to be in it to win it.







The Gift of the Year 2019 competition is now open for entries and will remain open until the end of November.

The largest and most prestigious product competition in the gift industry run by The Giftware Association, Gift of the Year celebrates the best products that will be on the market in late 2018 and throughout 2019.

Winning and highly commended products are featured in the beautiful Winners Brochure which is distributed at all major trade shows throughout the year, and to GA retailer members. The top prize, courtesy of Autumn Fair, is a free stand for the winner of the Judges’ Choice award – the winner among winners.

It isn’t just about the winners, though. Nominating one of your products for a Gift of the Year award will give you access to special logos you can use on your website, social media and even in print. The same goes if you are shortlisted, and you may even find your products featured on the Gift of the Year social media channels on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

On top of the publicity that entering can provide, every single entry placed in the competition is put before the panel of judges during the online stage of judging in December. It’s a fantastic chance to put your new products in front of buyers, and every year judges ask to be put in touch with entrants to talk more about their products.

Entries cost £75, or £50 if entrants are members of the GA, JDA, GCA, BTAA or NAJ, and entries after the first cost even less. There is a 20% ‘early bird’ discount cutting those costs even more, and that applies until the end of September. There is no limit to how many products you can enter into a category, or how many categories you can enter a single product or range into.

You can enter online at If you have any questions, you can call the Gift of the Year team on 0121 237 1142.




Students from Staffordshire University managed a clean sweep in the inaugural Student Stationery Design Awards, managing to win all three placements – with entries from one hardworking student being chosen twice!

Leanne Haycock, a 3rd year student in Graphic Design, created entries for both the Portico Design and Paperchase design briefs, and was rewarded by being chosen by both design directors as their placement winner.

“Leanne’s work stood out for being well-presented, well thought out, with two distinct styles and solutions for each brief,” said Iona Purchas, creative manager at Portico Designs in Bath.

Gemma Parris, pattern design manager at Paperchase agreed, saying “Leanne’s entries were certainly the most commercial and we look forward to working with her.”

The entry from Zoe Benjamin, also a 3rd year student, but studying 3D Design Ceramics, was selected by Nicola Breen, design director for Caroline Gardner.

“Zoe’s design experience, and her entry, which championed the idea of taking a pause during a working day and making writing a letter or note a pleasurable experience – resonates well with the lifestyle products we are developing at Caroline Gardner,” commented Nicola.

Partners and Winning Entries for 2018 Student Stationery Design Comp

This is the first time The Paper Library and Stationery Show London have collaborated to encourage stationery suppliers and retailers to support student design.  The competition attracted entries from Universities in Cardiff, Bath, Birmingham and the University of the West of England in Bristol as well as Staffordshire.

“We’re very grateful to Caroline Gardner, Paperchase and Portico Design for supporting this first competition and we’ll continue to back The Paper Library in their quest to develop a placement programme for students and alert them to the opportunities within the stationery industry to use their skills,” said Vanessa Fortnam, head of content & PR, for Stationery Show London.

Debbie Wigglesworth, co-founder of The Paper Library, also acknowledged the three partners saying, “The designers from Paperchase, Portico Designs and Caroline Gardner have been wonderful – their Q&A session with students at the London Stationery Show earlier this year was candid and hugely inspiring.  Their support has already encouraged other stationery companies to come forward and register their interest in getting involved.”

Judging 2018 Student Stationery Design Comp TPL logo LS05_SS_FL_SSL_V_POS_RGB

The students will now arrange to take their placements over the summer, with each being asked to record their experience however they wish – via video, diary, planner or blog – so that it can be shared with the next batch of hopefuls.

Any stationery retailers or suppliers who would like to support students, either by offering work placements, or other prizes, are encouraged to get in touch via or


Paperchase logo


Portico Designs logo

a3_LOGO with outline


Vanessa Fortnam – | 01666 824624

Debbie Wigglesworth – | 07718 619521



Gift of the Year is an annual competition celebrating the best new products in the gift and home market.

It is celebrated each year at Spring Fair, when the final winners are announced, but being a Gift of the Year winner lasts throughout the year (and beyond!).

In this newsletter we look at profiles of winners and their products, announce and interview our judging panel, and share other news about this prestigious award.

Winner Highlight:
Paper Mirchi

Gift of the Year:
Two Weeks to Go

Judge Profile:
Tracey Bearton

The competition is now open, and will remain open until the end of November. Don’t forget that an early bird entry discount of at least 20% awaits those who enter before the end of September!



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