At Accessories, we understand how difficult it is for manufacturers to find good designers. And we also know that there are so many good designers who struggle to get discovered. That’s why we’ve launched The ICE Crystal Jewelry Awards, celebrating Innovation, Creativity and Excellence.
Created in partnership with FIT and sponsored by Preciosa®, the ICE Awards will give 10 FIT Accessories Design students a shot at the big leagues by bringing them together with professional jewelry manufacturers during the process. Accessories will announce the winner this May at the Fashion Accessories Benefit Ball (FABB) in New York.
The 10 contestants will each be paired up with an industry mentor, who will help them develop their designs and submit final sketches, based on the Fall/Winter 2014/15 trend themes that Accessories provides. The five finalists will then design a suite of jewelry using crystals supplied from Preciosa.
The competition offers invaluable industry training. While students can push their creativity and aesthetic to the fullest, the competition will teach them how to work with a professional trend service and design for an upcoming selling season. Accessories Directions Trend Forecasting—a division of Accessories magazine—will give each student and jewelry mentor its one-hour Fall/Winter 2014/15 trend webinar to preview. Each student will then select one of the presented 5 Big Trends as a framework.
Industry mentors include (in alphabetical order by company: Tahseen Ali-Khan at AKA Mystique; Isaac Manevitz at Ben-Amun; Gerard Yosca at Gerard Yosca; Robin Regnier at The NES Group; Gail Freund at Robert Rose; Stephan Rubin at Stephan & Co.; Yochi at Yochi; Mary Auer at 1928 Jewelry; Chris Ciulla at Ciner Manufacturing Co.; and Norine Zwolenski at Tanya Creations. The five finalists will have their jewelry displayed at FABB and the winner will receive a cash price.
“I am constantly getting calls from manufacturers seeking talented designers who can bring new, fresh ideas to their business,” says Lorrie Frost, publisher of Accessories magazine. “We thought to make this a formal competition with a mentoring element—where students could work directly with manufacturers and show what they can do.” In addition, by utilizing the trends provided by Accessories’ trend forecasting service—which manufacturers use to develop their lines and retailers use to plan their buys—the students can feel confident that their resulting designs are on-trend. Manufacturers will have the opportunity to purchase the designs from the contestants and incorporate them into their lines or capsule collections if they choose. It’s all about bringing talent together.
“Preciosa always wanted to cooperate with talented young people who think and create in extraordinary ways,” says Jana Klapková, Area Trade Marketing Manager of Preciosa. “We were looking for a top design school that could give Preciosa crystals a new motion. And Accessories came up with the idea of involving FIT, which concentrates lots of open-minded students using fresh and innovative looks in their designs. Preciosa is happy to be a part of this exciting project. The ICE Awards bring together exceptional design abilities, high-quality crystals in perfectly balanced cuts and a wide range of colors. Last but not least, thanks to Accessories, we have a way to present the newly created designs to the fashion world. At Preciosa, we all hope the FIT students will find this project and its challenges rewarding for their next professional life – and we are happy to support them.”
Accessories will be covering the progress on its website and in future print issues. Stay tuned to meet the contestants, see their work being developed, and of course, see the winning designs in the June issue.