Among the cluster of jewelry shows that invade Las Vegas in late May and early June, in many ways, the Couture Show has become the premier event, especially when it comes to jewelry design.
An important reason for this is the Couture Design Awards, which celebrate and honor the best new jewelry designs and high quality craftsmanship at the show. It has become one of the jewelry industry’s top awards programs for creators.
This year’s awards were presented in 15 categories on June 1, along with a special tribute and ironic honor. The awards were held this year in a crowded Encore ballroom, a move from the Encore theater of previous years. It didn’t matter where it was located, as the 90-minute awards show showed Couture is as much a community as it is a trade show.
“We are here to celebrate the incredible designs of this incredible community,” said Gannon Brousseau, director of the Couture show and senior vice president of Emerald Expositions (which owns and operates Couture), in opening remarks. âWhether we’re in the Encore Ballroom or back in the Encore Theater, nothing could dim the bright lights shining here tonight.â
In her acceptance speech, Jade Lustig of Jade Trau, who won the Design Award in the Best in Bridal category, said: âI love Mondays. I love waking up and going to work, it doesn’t even feel like work. I love what I do and thank you for recognizing it.
Several of the winning designers acknowledged the intensity of the work involved in creating their design award nominations and thanked those in their lives who provided them with the support they needed to continue developing their collections. Accepting his award for the best colored gemstones over $ 20,000, Adam Foster said: don’t kill me.
This year, the program introduced a new category, âBest in Debutingâ, open to designers exhibiting at Couture for the first time. The award includes a $ 10,000 grant for their sewing expenses the following year. Ara Vartanian, who may be new to tailoring but is a familiar face in the jewelry industry both for her original, handmade designs and collaborations with people like model Kate Moss, the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto and Brazilian decorative lighting brand Scatto.
Before the official awards ceremony, Brousseau presented the first âWTF ?! Award âto designer Stephen Webster for aâ disaster design âhe submitted to the competition. The name of the winner of this ironic award will be engraved on a medallion each year and forwarded to the recipient the following year.
The biggest surprise of the evening came at the end when Michelle Orman received the Cindy Edelstein Award, which was recognized “for her hard work and commitment to the industry in general, and in particular the sewing community” . Most surprised of all was Orman, as everyone involved managed to keep it a secret.
Orman is in charge of public relations for jewelry shows owned by Emerald Expositions, but she does a lot more. His company, Last Word Communications, represents and advocates for jewelry designers, as well as the jewelry industry as a whole. Over the years, she has helped launch the careers of several hitherto unknown designers. Always upbeat, always helpful to anyone she meets and always quick to return an email, she is the personification of this community of jewelry designers.
The award she received was named after Cindy Edelstein who has worked as a consultant helping countless jewelry designers in their careers since 1991, when she and her husband, Frank Stankus, founded the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau. . Of course, it was Orman who contributed the most to adding this award to the Couture Design Awards in 2017. The winners and finalists are as follows:
The best of the bride
Winner: Jade Trau
First finalist: TAP by Todd Pownell
Runner-up: Polly Wales
The best of colorful gemstones over $ 20,000
Winner: Adam Foster
First runner-up: Antonini
Second finalist: VRAM
Best Colored Gemstones Under $ 20,000
Winner: Noor Fares
First finalist: Stephen Webster
Second runner-up: Alice Cicolini
Best in Diamonds Above $ 20,000
Winner: kataoka jewelry and art objects
First finalist: Gem Platinum
Second finalist: Hearts On Fire
Best in Diamonds Below $ 20,000
First finalist: Swati Dhanak
Second finalist: ANDY LIF Jewelry
Best in Gold
Winner: Nikos Koulis
First runner-up: Bibi van der Velden
Second finalist: Isabella Fa
The best of haute couture
Winner: Mike Joseph
First runner-up: Selim Mouzannar
Second runner-up: Giovanni Ferraris
The best of innovation
Winner: Silvia Furmanovich
First runner-up: Federica Rettore
Second runner-up: Graziela
Best in men
Winner: Jan Leslie
First finalist: Shamballa
Second runner-up: Victor Mayer
The best of pearls
Winner: Karen Suen
First finalist: Assael
Second finalist: Moksh
Best in Platinum
Winner: Jorg Heinz
First finalist: Schaffrath
Second finalist: BQ Jewelry
Best in money
First runner-up: Nancy Newberg
Second finalist: John Hardy
Best for getting started at Couture
Winner: Ara Vartanian
First runner-up: Ananya
Runner-up: Lotus Arts de Vivre
First finalist: Gismondi
Second finalist: Crevoshay
Gellner GmbH & Co
Cindy Edelstein Award