Among a sea of exhibitors in Pier 92/94 showing off shiny baubles, luxe totes, boots aplenty, and plenty of chic apparel, there were many gems to discover at this season’s Accessorie Circuit/Intermezzo Collection, which took place from January 5th to 7th. With nearly 650 booths to navigate, your Daily made a beeline for the freshest brands on the market, which lead us to three outstanding labels: Yuwei Designs, Avec Moto, and Kelly Bello. We quizzed the labels’ founders on what their brands stand for, what the future holds, and what sets them apart from the accessorizing pack.
Lee Hyun Joo, CEO
What’s the concept behind Avec Moto?
These bags are for daily use but they’re still stylish and unique. I found inspiration for them in our daily lives.
The bags are so lightweight! What are they made of?
Yes, we use materials like canvas and leather. We made use of really soft materials, making sure the finished product is very light.
What are some of the brand’s signatures?
Each of the bags looks like a face, with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. I feel like the bags are talking to me whenever I design them!
Where are these bags sold?
We’re based in Korea, where we have a store, but we’re also carried in Italy, Russia, and China.
Yuwei Lee, Designer
When did you launch your label?
I officially launched in October 2013. Prior to launching the collection, it took me about a year to get everything together; to get designs sketched and produced. Then, I finally reached the point where I was ready to introduce my collection to the world.
What kinds of stones made the cut for your latest pieces?
Everything in the collection is made from sterling silver with 18-karat gold plating, featuring different stones, like Red Agate and Blue Agate. I’m getting more comfortable working with stones, so I’m excited to add more color to later collections.
What were you doing before you entered the jewelry business?
I knew I wanted to be in fashion when I was younger, but to my parents, that just wasn’t an option, so I ended up working in corporate insurance for 10 years. When I started to heal the childhood wounds I had from growing up around domestic abuse, that’s when my creative side came out. Sometimes I wish I had started this company sooner, but I’ve gained a lot of experience from working in insurance, which has helped my brand grow faster than I could’ve imagined.
Does Yuwei Designs have any philanthropic tie-ins?
Since this collection was partially created as a healing process for that domestic violence, I teamed up in October with the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. I created a collection for them, and pretty much 100 percent of the net proceeds go directly to the trust fund. All my other designs have 3 percent net proceeds going to the trust fund.
Kelly Bello Design
Kelly Bello, founder and CEO
What’s the Kelly Bello aesthetic?
If you see all my pieces, they’re very delicate, and I used many floating pearls. I wanted to create pieces you can wear every day. Kelly Bello is fine jewelry that’s also fun.
Have any celebs worn your designs?
Not yet, but I’m currently working with a few bloggers. This is my first trade show, so everything is just starting!
What’s been the biggest moment for your band since you’ve started?
Just being able to get everything together has really big. As well as being able to do photo shoots and being able to attend a trade show.
Where do you see your brand in five years?