International Jewellery London is thrilled to announce the four winning designers selected for this year’s Bright Young Gems!
Now in its 14th year, Bright Young Gems is an IJL initiative dedicated to the design stars of the future. Every year, a handful of final year students and recent graduates are selected to showcase their work at IJL and benefit from a programme of mentoring from jewellery experts to maximise their show experience.
The Bright Young Gems are selected by a preeminent panel of judges comprising Hilary Alexander OBE, Editor-at-Large Hello Fashion Monthly; Annabel Davidson, Editor of Vanity Fair on Jewellery and Alice Edwards, Jewellery Editor for the Sunday Times Style and The Times LUXX magazine, Liza Urla, influencer and founder of Gemologue and, for the first time representing retailers, guest judge Henry Graham, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Wolf & Badger.
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As always the standard and diversity of work presented was very high and two additional designers were named as Highly Commended by the judges.
Meet the 2018 Bright Young Gems
Having studied at the University of the Arts London Central St Martins, Katharina is distinguished by her cutting-edge handcrafted jewellery. She explores the natural light reflection in gemstones by placing different colours and light reflection styles in juxtaposition with each other, to create visual effects that move and change when worn.
Altitude and elevation are central to Katharina’s jewellery with each gemstone angled with or away from the body. Originally from Munich, where no building is taller than the church in the city centre, her designs are crafted in gold-plated sterling silver combine translucent agate and transparent quartz with a wide array of clear coloured stones.
Katharina says: “By exhibiting at IJL, I will be able to meet potential stockists and new customers face to face and I am looking forward to the insightful feedback. The mentoring day with industry leaders is an amazing opportunity to grow my network and expand my mind-set. Taking part in the IJL Bright Young Gems initiative will take my business to the next stage and help me establish my work in the UK.”
A graduate from the London University of the Arts, Zeemou designs contemporary fine jewellery and accessories using his wide knowledge of craftsmanship and different materials (such as precious metals, glass, stones and porcelain) to create unique designs which possess both functionality and beauty.
Having originally studied interior and architecture design in China, followed by an MA course in Designer Making, his breadth of design studies have influenced the way he approaches design, resulting in innovative and often surprising solutions.
This is reflected in Zeemou’s latest fine jewellery collection, Melody, using 18k gold, pearls and cleverly incorporating a unique movement mechanism within each piece.
Zeemou explains: “Being nominated as a Bright Young Gem is the highlight of my career. I am looking forward very much to showing my collections to the UK and international jewellery world at IJL. It is also a fantastic opportunity to network and learn how best to develop my business.”
Daisy is a graduate of the Birmingham School of Jewellery with a BA (Hons) in Jewellery and Silversmithing. After working in the industry for two years, Daisy returned to the school and has learnt 3D computer aided design to elevate her traditional bench skills.
The ‘Twisted Tales’ collection that Daisy has designed and made for her graduate show includes a statement neckpiece produced in laser sintered nylon and adorned with sterling silver thorns. Other pieces in the collection are made in solid sterling silver with a highly polished finish and set with black diamonds.
Daisy says: “I am thrilled to have been selected as one of the four Bright Young Gems for 2018, having spent the last year perfecting my skills I am now ready for start of my business and I will be expanding my Twisted Tales collection in preparation for the show Exhibiting at IJL will be the perfect platform to launch myself as a designer to the industry and receive feedback from people viewing my work with fresh eyes.”
Yayun studied at the University of the Arts London Central St Martins and finds inspiration for her jewellery designs in the craftsmanship of traditional lace pieces seen in old paintings. By researching and learning bobbin lace making skills, she experimented with her own lace techniques that could be applied to metal. Influenced by digital technology and inspired by classic hip-hop jewellery culture, Yahun creates bold yet delicate jewellery, using traditional craftsmanship and digital software.
Yayun says: “I am thrilled to be nominated as a Bright Young Gem. I am going to use this opportunity as a younger member of the jewellery community to show how exciting and cool it is to combine the traditional aspects of craftsmanship with modern technology to create pieces that are unexpected and vibrant.”
And the Highly Commended Bright Young Gems are…
The two designers whose work was Highly Commended by the judges are Rosie Groom (Birmingham) and Belle Smith (Central St Martins). Examples of their work will be on show at IJL 2018 alongside seven other shortlisted entries.
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What is the IJL Journey?
As part of our IJL 365 approach, the IJL Journey extends far beyond our three-day trade event. It offers myriad career-boosting benefits, including a mentoring package, workshop days, ongoing pricing, branding and marketing support, and introductions to key industry figures.
This invaluable advice prepares each Bright Young Gem, KickStarter and Design Gallery Exhibitor to meet the 9,000 strong jewellery audience at IJL 2018, from September 2-4.
IJL is #withyou offering career opportunities and the chance to grow your jewellery business, whether you are a student, recent graduate, emerging brand or established player. Speak to our team to find out more.
To discover more about this year’s Bright Young Gems, please click here.