Some fresh eyes got to share their take on frames as The Accessories Council and Luxottica Group supported the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) sixth Annual “Next Generation” Awards in New York recently. This year’s event debuted two new awards categories—optical frames and sunglasses—marking the first time any design school has required seniors to present eyewear as part of their final accessories project.

In the Next Generation competition, FIT accessories design students are judged in the areas of design, execution and innovation in the production of handbags, footwear, jewelry, belts, hats, gloves and small leather goods. Winners receive a cash award of $1,000 for first place and $500 for second place in each of the categories.

“Luxottica is honored to recognize FIT’s best accessory design talent and to partner with FIT’s faculty and Accessories Council to include, for the first time, eyewear in the FIT accessory design curriculum,” says Pierre Fay, executive vice president, Luxottica Wholesale North America. “Eyewear has become a true fashion accessory and we at Luxottica look forward to nurturing tomorrow’s designers who bring new and innovative ideas to the industry.”

The winners in the eyewear and sunglass categories shown above with FIT’s Ellen Goldstein, chairperson of the FIT Accessory Program, are eyewear winners Georgette Johnson and Ariel Yaroslawitz, left, with sunwear winners Erica Rucci and Jennifer Taves.

—Deirdre Carroll