If you thought the Olympics were the only international competition to watch this summer, let us direct you towards a little corner of the internet where a different kind of global award program is going on: The Etsies. For the third year in a row, the online marketplace has gathered a panel of esteemed judges for the impossible task of identifying some of the coolest creators and top talent in the game. And trust us when we tell you that Tom Daley’s knitting has nothing on this year’s winners.

Etsy is beloved by both artisans and shoppers alike, and the Design Awards exist to honor that global community of artists and entrepreneurs. To identify the best of the best, Etsy assembled a roster of judges: designer Joseph Altuzarra, author and activist Meena Harris, interior designer and HGTV host Leanne Ford, and Etsy’s own trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson, who is also a judge on NBC’s Making It.

For Altuzarra, being involved in the competition marked a new phase in an already-established relationship with the marketplace. Altuzarra was an “early adopter” of the site, using the marketplace to find vintage pieces, home decor items and, more recently, clothes for his daughter. He was also one of the first designers to collaborate with the company to launch an exclusive collection of his own. As his industry evolves, he sees Etsy at the forefront of that change.

“Fashion was a very insular industry for a really long time, and it’s slowly starting to connect with other industries and with other platforms beyond just wholesale and traditional retail, and that was actually my initial interest with Etsy,” Altuzarra tells Refinery29. “It’s so exciting to see how platforms like these are able to really shift the conversation away from mass-produced, disposable products, towards more handmade, sustainable, responsibly produced products.” 

By admin