South African designers in finals of global handbag awards

23 May 2016 - 18:17 By Julia Madibogo
Image: Supplied

Move over Michael Kors - Adrian Furstenburg and Marissa van Zyl have arrived.

The two South African handbag designers will represent the country at the glamorous 10th annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards to be held in New York City next month.

The pair beat over 1‚500 submissions from five continents and 28 countries to be selected to be part of 40 designers who will participate on the night.

Furstenburg and Van Zyl will be competing in one category: the Guess All About the Logo.

Voting is currently open from now until June 10‚ when votes can be cast online at to select the Audience Fan Favourite.

Furstenburg‚ who has worked in both London and Paris‚ has a diploma in textile design and launched his own handbag range in 2009. He is currently working on his first retail collection which will be launched later this year.

He says his inspiration dates way back: “I used the shape of the logo which inspired the triangular stripe detail in the all American red and blue stripes on the bag. The vibe is not exactly nautical but it does have a typically 90s or even 70s retro element to it.

“Imagine someone like Claudia Schiffer with a bag like this taking a trip on a speedboat with her lover in Miami lakes. I love building narrative around what I do - it's the stylist in me!”

Van Zyl is the founder of Mazee Creations PTY in South Africa.