The winners of IJL’s very popular and highly regarded exhibitor Editors’ Choice Awards are announced today, June 14 – designer Isabella Liu, The Rock Hound, and Franco Florenzi.
Re-launched this year with an exciting new format and inspirational new categories to reflect the breadth of creative flair and innovative design talent at the show, the pre-show winners have been selected by the two judges, Claire Adler, luxury communications consultant and Financial Times contributor and Event Director, Sam Willoughby.
Sam Willoughby comments: “These three winning collections really do showcase the best in creative originality, technical finesse and commercial know-how. Created by a designer, a gemmologist jeweller and a commercial brand, the three winners illustrate the diversity on show at IJL 2017. Congratulations to all and we look forward to seeing them in September.”
Claire Adler adds: “2017 has brought us some stunning, thought-provoking winners to IJL Editor’s Choice. I wish the winners every continued success”.
The 2017 winners are:
Awarded to the brand or designer that impresses the judges with genuine originality, whether in terms of design, an innovative use of materials or striking colour combinations
Isabella Liu – Sea Rymes collection
Born in China and based in London, Isabella Liu is a leading award-winning jewellery designer and artist who founded her own design studio in 2014.
In 2012, her winning jewellery artwork was exhibited at the leading museum, Birmingham Museum and Arts Gallery, followed two years later with first place in the finalists at Barcelona ENJOIA’T Award. In March 2015, she was honoured with three gold and two silver awards at the Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards and also won two gold awards for best product and best new designer at the 2015 Milan World Expo China-Italy International Jewellery Design Competition. Selected by the ‘WOMEN OF CHINA’ magazine, Isabella is honoured as one of the ten women ‘Impressing the world – Chinese Women Yield Brilliant Results in 2015’. Isabella was also accredited for her Exceptional Talent in Craftsmanship and Design by the Arts Council England in 2015.
The winning Sea Rhymes collection is inspired by the great Japanese artist Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave’, and Isabella’s fascination with the sound of the sea. Sculpturally formed with incredible sounds, swirling and curling lines represent the ocean. The curves of each piece are designed to embrace each stone like the ocean envelopes the body, which when moving, inspires the sound of waves gently lapping against the shore and transporting the wearer to a place of tranquillity.
Isabella says: “This award is such a great compliment to my creative originality and will push me even harder in my future ventures with forward thinking. Whenever I travel to the seaside, I write a poem, express my emotions which has helped me bring a sense of romance and joy to the Sea Rhymes collection”.
Claire Adler observes: “Isabella Liu’s Sea Rhymes collection is statement jewellery at its best – bold, architectural and imaginative. It experiments with the notion of hearing the waves of the sea and experiencing their calming influence”.
Awarded to the brand or designer showcasing exceptional craftsmanship with technical finesse and a sound appreciation of both traditional and contemporary making skills.
The Rock Hound – Chromanteq Bombe Rings
The Rock Hound are Gemmologist Jewellers known for working with responsibly-sourced, raw materials to create bold, design-led pieces. Holding these principles at the core of the brand, they are on a mission to bring the aesthetics to ethics using trailblazing techniques.
The Chromanteq Bombe Rings exhibit a myriad of coloured gemstones from around the world, chosen as superb examples of saturation and life – selected from brilliantly green Namibian Demantoids, vivid blue tourmalines, orange Mandarin garnets and hot pink Mahenge spinels. Urban-mined gemstones are also used, together with stones, found in antique jewellery and given a new lease of life, such as sparkling pink kunzite and warm pinky-orange morganite. Underneath the vibrant nano ceramics, there is recycled 18ct white gold, whilst 9ct rose gold shines simply, chosen for its warm tones. The collection not only includes the award winning rings, but also drop earrings and pendants – with each piece a one-off and made to order.
“It is daunting as a new jewellery brand to stick your neck out from the crowd and take a leap of faith that your judgement and eye are getting it right. We are bursting with pride to be receiving this award from IJL’s esteemed judges for our Chromanteq rings and it spurs us on to keep blazing new trails whilst proudly flying the flag for ethical jewellers,” says Susi Smither FGA, GIA JDT, Founder and Designer, The Rock Hound
Claire Adler adds: “All the way from sketching with gouache paints to the nano-ceramic coating, the Rock Hound pieces are a delicious burst of colour and a fusion of old-world techniques with a totally fresh finish. I love them!”
Awarded to the jewellery collection demonstrating that has smashed commercial targets and secured mass appeal amongst consumers, showcasing the careful planning and executive required to launch a commercially successful range.
Franco Florenzi – Bow and Arrow Bracelets
Franco Florenzi is a design-led brand focused on creating simple and unique accessories for men and women. Attention to detail is at the core of their designs, inspired by subtle sophistication and impeccable craftsmanship, combining minimalism and elegance together, to provide their customers with unrivalled luxury and a long-term durability.
The growing collection of Bow and Arrow bracelets designed for both men and women are suitable for both classic and contemporary outfits. Each piece is designed in England and manufactured from the finest materials, creating unrivalled luxury and long-term durability. The ultra-thin cord is complimented by the handcrafted Bow & Arrow detailing and is available in a variety of colours, making it the perfect accessory to add to any outfit.
The judges nominated Franco Florenzi as the award winner for their exceptional commercial vision and business acumen through the savvy use of global role models to reach their target audience of 18-24 year olds – such as Olivia Buckland, Heather Watson and Daniel Goodfellow – supported by valuable endorsements from footballers including Christian Benteke, Alberto Moreno and Jordan Ibe. As a result, the company has seen their social media followers surge to over 600,000 across Facebook and Instagram, resulting in sales in over 109 countries. As part of this success, they have now obtained the design rights to their signature Bow & Arrow, together with trademarking the Franco Florenzi brand name in 34 countries.
Lucky Nwosu, Co-Founder and Creative Director or Franco Florenzi, comments: “We are thrilled to have won this award. We take pride in every detail that goes into our designs and to be recognised for this at such a prestigious show like IJL is a fantastic achievement. This is a welcome boost for Franco Florenzi, one we wish to carry forward as we continue to grow our brand”.
Claire Adler notes: “Congratulations to Franco Florenzi’s appropriately named co-founder Lucky Nwosu and his associates on winning 2017 Editor’s Choice Commercial Mastermind. The brand is well positioned for further success in the years to come with robust business and social media strategies in place”.
There will be a further four new exciting Editors’ Choice categories judged during IJL by an extended prestigious panel of industry media editors. With Sam Willoughby and Claire Adler casting the final votes, the four categories are the Designer to Watch, Show Stopper, Visual Excellence and the ultimate crown, the IJL Exhibitor of the Year. The results will be announced at the show. To find out more, please go to: www.jewellerylondon.com/editorschoice.
Free registration for IJL is now open. Visit www.jewellerylondon.com/register to ensure you receive your Essential Guide to the show and badge in the post.