SOURCE: Half the Sky Designs

February 27, 2008 20:04 ET

Rebagz™ on ABC's "Ugly Betty" and in Museum Exhibition

Half the Sky Designs Introduces 2008 Collection of Eco-Fashion Forward Handbags

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - February 27, 2008) - Marty Stevens-Heebner, founder and president of Half the Sky Designs, today announced the unveiling of Rebagz™ 2008 collection as well as appearances of Rebagz on ABC's "Ugly Betty" and in the current Pasadena Museum of History's 'The Purse and the Person: A Century of Women's Purses' exhibition. Rebagz, stylish and colorful handbags made from recycled juice packs and nylon rice bags, have quickly found popularity among fashionistas and the eco-conscious crowd since their introduction last summer.

Actress America Ferrera received a Large Multi-Colored Rebagz Tie-Tote in a celebrity gift bag last fall. In the episode of "Ugly Betty" that aired January 17, her character Betty was carrying the bag. Other celebrities who own Rebagz include Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Heidi Klum, Halle Berry, Sheryl Crow and Serena Williams.

"We're so happy that our Rebagz bags are gaining recognition," says Stevens-Heebner. "We were both thrilled and surprised to see America Ferrera with her bag on 'Ugly Betty' and to be invited to participate in the Pasadena Museum of History's exhibit." The response to Rebagz's introductory line last summer, "...was amazing," she says, "and we've added even more exciting eco-friendly designs for 2008."

Half the Sky Designs introduced the Rebagz 2008 collection at the recent California Gift Show, WWD MAGIC in Las Vegas and in the juried sections of the New York International Gift Fair and Atlanta International Gift Market.

There are currently two Rebagz lines: one made from recycled juice packs that are cut into strips and woven together to make colorful, durable bags and the other crafted from colorful recycled rice bags from the Philippines. "I'm always struck by the gorgeous designs on some rice sacks," says Stevens-Heebner. "It's a competitive rice market, so it becomes all about eye-catching packaging. The sacks are just too beautiful to throw away, so we transform them into eco-fashion forward handbags."

This season marks the launch of the new Rebagz Limited Edition line. Stevens-Heebner discovered some rice sacks she loved were from brands that had been discontinued. "This means we have a very finite number of bags," she says. "I look at these recycled sacks as my fabric, and this was fabric I definitely wanted to work with." So she created the Rebagz Limited Edition line to celebrate the uniqueness of these particular rice sacks and to illustrate the fact that many beautiful things around us are finite in supply. The Limited Edition styles include "Panda," "Stallion" and "Lion Brand," while supplies last.

Other rice bag designs include "Magnolia," "White Rose," "Jasmine," "Blue Birds," "Trophy" and "Best Mill." The Rebagz 2008 collection adds backpacks, wallets, cell phone carriers and coin purses to the extensive rice sack and recycled juice pack lines which already include totes in various sizes: baby bags, messenger bags that accommodate computers, shoulder bags and clutches.

Former human rights worker Stevens-Heebner works closely with her workers, ensuring that they are treated well and paid fairly. Her aptly named company references the adage, "Women hold up half the sky," paying homage to the many women who work with Half the Sky Designs.

Rebagz™ range in price from $15 to $135. For more information, visit www.halftheskydesigns.com or call (818) 907-8695.

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