ICE Crystal Jewelry Awards: Students, Mentors Meet (Pt. 2)

ICE logo 2New York–The first-ever ICE Crystal Jewelry Awards–sponsored by Accessories Magazine and Czech crystal company Preciosa–paired 10 talented jewelry design students from FIT with jewelry industry mentors who will help guide their finished sketches.

Last week, the first group of 3 students met their mentors at FIT. Below are the remaining 7 pairs.

The idea of the ICE Awards project is to teach the students how to design into a specific trend (each viewed Accessories Magazine’s Fall/Winter 14/15 webinar and selected one of the top five trends) and also how to create salable pieces for a “real” customer.

Later this month, five selected finalists (chosen by a prestigious panel of retailers) will have their pieces manufactured by their mentor companies. All five jewelry ensembles will be displayed at the FABB Ball on May 7 and first and second place winners will be announced at the event.

Meet the Students & Mentors!

The jewelry industry mentors and FIT students were thrilled to meet and start their collaborations. Student qualifying submission sketches and concepts will be reworked with their mentors to best suit the real marketplace.

20140311_134034Isaac Manevitz, designer and founder of Ben-Amun, reviews the presentation sketches by student Yu-Chieh Ko as inspired by Accessories magazine’s Dark Star holiday trend. “When I saw the trend, I saw a woman with a strong personality,” said Ko. “And since I love nature, I selected the stingray because it’s strong yet soft and elegant.” Manevitz was excited about Ko’s choice of chain and braid inspiration as well. “I am eager to help her go a step further with her concept, maybe a Forest in the Night theme.”

20140311_133421Student Jung Min Kim (left), worked off Accessories magazine’s Modern Couture trend, citing Chanel and Christian Dior as inspiration. “I chose this simple, modern, ladylike theme because many women have their own companies and they need to wear accessories that are harmonious with their modern look.”  Aleisa Suoaman of Natasha Accessories was thrilled with Kim’s collar concept. “So many retailers are going after collars for fall so she’s right on track, and the modular concept of the removable chain is very interesting.”

20140311_132444Yochi of her eponymous jewelry company Yochi New York, peruses sketches from student Jocelyn Nuesi’s Pop Idol presentation.  Impressed by the leather/transparent plastic concept, Yochi was excited to take it even further, suggesting “sandwiching” stones between material for dimension or adding large plastic cabochon stones to the leather. Nuesi was excited to use unconventional jewelry materials like leather. “I studied fashion design so I understand how fabric works,” she said.

20140311_132300Stephan Rubin of Stephan & Co. meets with student Youning Cheng to review her sketches, selected from two trends: Gypsy Traveler and Pop Idol. Rubin was particularly enamored with the fringe and will pursue that idea. “Youning is very talented and we’re already doing this gypsy trend in our company so it’s a great fit.” Cheng, who admits to fine jewelry inspirations like Cartier, is excited to challenge herself with a bohemian approach.”I can’t wait to see the materials Stephan has available!”

20140311_132359Pat Hill (left), president of Ciner Jewelry and Kris Ciulla (right), VP Sales & Design discuss concept with student Ja Yong Shin, who did a creative chess set interpretation of the Dark Star trend. “The various characters that play a role to protect the queen and king will be transformed into earrings, rings and necklaces,” said Shin. The Ciner team saw this as a perfect fit. “The motifs Shin chose, like Maltese crosses and regal crowns, are very classic and can be used forever, which is why Ciner has a lot of them in our collections,” says Ciulla.

IMG_3178Tahseen Ali-Khan of Ali Khan Designs works with student Keelin Brett to turn her “fine jewelry” sketch for the Dark Star trend into a reality for the fashion jewelry market. “Her vision is great,” says Ali-Khan and I want to help her take her concept to where the market is going.” Says Brett about why she chose this trend: “Dark Star gave me the feeling of a fairy tale ballroom with dressed up evil queens and heroic dancing princesses. I explored this feeling and designed a piece of jewelry that would exemplify the dark extravagant side as well as the brighter side of a character.”

Copy of Alexa InnisStudent Alexia Innis is working with Norine Zwolenski (not shown), Executive VP Of Product Development And Design of Tanya Creations, to bring her Dark Star concept to life. Innis used glitter and stones to make her submission board pop. “I was inspired by flappers and how they used sparkle and sequins during that era, and I was especially intrigued that the jewelry was either very high on the neckline or way below. I also looked at a lot of chandeliers!”

Zwolenski was equally thrilled about the collaboration: “Alexia’s approach to choosing Dark Star as her trend was fresh and innovative! Her thought process took into account the saleability and cost structure needed to see her product on the selling floor. We brainstormed bringing the metal element to the collection and I can’t wait to see the evolution of the idea!”

Stay tuned for updates on the ICE Awards, as Accessories magazine and a panel of retailers select the five finalists!

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Lauren Parker, Editor, Accessories Magazine

As Editor of Accessories Magazine for the past 12 years, Lauren Parker has covered accessories both from a retail business perspective and a fashion point of view. In previous full-time magazine jobs and freelance gigs, she’s written about practically every angle of fashion lifestyle living, including accessories, fine jewelry, Caribbean travel, private jets, Hampton’s real estate, the New York art scene, the bridal industry, men’s lifestyle and being a mom. She loves meeting designers and seeing how their latest offerings capture the current zeitgeist and fit into the entire cultural and social picture.

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