Couture Design Awards
One of the highlights of COUTURE— the COUTURE Design Awards — set new records in 2015 with over 200 submissions, and the competition promises to show you again in 2016 what happens when some of our most creative minds stretch the boundaries of design.
All the pieces are displayed in the competition hallway, a "museum quality" display of this dazzling collection. In addition to our retailers voting on their favorites in the "People's Choice Award," a panel judges made up of of fellow designers, Cornerstone Retailers and jewelry editors from leading consumer magazines will judge submissions on criteria that include design, craftsmanship and salability. The judges will vote for the winning pieces on site, and retailers will also receive their ballots and vote for the "People's Choice Awards" at COUTURE.
We look forward to another record breaking event in 2016!
Irene Neuwirth was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her natural creative ability was a birthright from her mother, a painter, and her entrepreneurial spirit was inspired by her father, a businessman. In 2003, she created a small collection of jewelry that was immediately bought by Barneys. Since then, Irene Neuwirth Jewelry has emerged as a leading, independent jewelry brand, recognized by its uniquely modern and sophisticated designs. The collection is designed and produced entirely in Los Angeles, using raw, unmanufactured gem stones. Irene’s collections and one-of-a-kind pieces are highly anticipated by a fashion-forward and discriminating clientele, who have come to expect a line that delivers a precise balance between timeless, collectable jewelry and the ultimate statement in modern luxury. The jewelry has generated tremendous editorial attention and is worn by some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts and Zoe Saldana.
Louis A Guarino Jr., owner of Louis Anthony Jewelers, is 35 year veteran of the jewelry industry.
Lou began his career in 1980 where he learned the fine jewelry and watch industry.
Putting that knowledge to task and with true entrepreneurial spirit Lou and his wife Veronica opened Louis Anthony Jewelers in 1990.
Because of Lou’s keen eye for style and his desire to source the most unusual stones and unique designs, Louis Anthony quickly evolved into Pittsburgh’s premier jewelry retailer and is considered one of the top independently run stores in the jewelry industry.
A Graduate Gemologist, Lou has been commissioned to design bespoke pieces, most recently for Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State, who has an extensive brooch collection. Lou’s design for Ms. Albright, her monogram with olive branches intertwined, is considered to be one of her favorites.
In addition to his business responsibilities, Lou has found time to become involved in many civic and charitable endeavors including The St Clair Hospital Foundation, The Early Learning Institute, The Woodland Foundation, The Cultural Trust and Phipps Conservatory.
Lou has 3 children Amelia 34, Louis III, 29 and Vanessa 26. All three of his children work in the family business.
Maria is a founder of The Jewellery Editor after many years as a freelance journalist specialising in watches and jewellery for a wide variety of notable publications, including the Financial Times, Intelligent Life, Wallpaper and Vanity Fair On Jewellery. As well as running The Jewellery Editors's team of ten, Maria writes about jewellery and watches for Telegraph Luxury.com. Maria first became interested in watches and jewellery when she lived in Mexico and was looking for a change from her job at corporate branding company Wolff Olins. She saw the need for a website focussed on high jewellery and watches and, with Christine Pasquier, launched The Jewellery Editor in 2011.
Marion Fasel is a leading jewelry expert with over twenty-five years experience. She has acted as a consultant on special projects to premier jewelers including Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels and Verdura. In 2012, Marion collaborated with Cartier on the exhibition Cartier & Aldo Cipullo New York City in the 70s presented at the French firm’s landmark mansion on Fifth Avenue. Marion was commissioned by Bulgari to write the Collection trilogy Serpenti, Bulgari-Bulgari and Monete published by Assouline from 2013-2014. She also curated Bulgari: Serpenti Collection at the Italian jeweler’s New York City flagship.
Throughout her career Marion has written eight books including Bejeweled: Great Designers, Celebrity Style, With This Ring: The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Jewelry and Hollywood Jewels: Movies, Jewelry, Stars. She has been the Contributing Editor of Fine Jewelry and Watches at InStyle since launching the magazine’s award winning coverage in 1996. Her feature stories, interviews with jewelry-loving celebrities and #RocksMyWorld column on InStyle.com showcase her knowledge of the market and passion for all things jewelry.
Last year Marion founded The Adventurine to expand the consulting work she has conducted into the areas of brand development and communications. She will be launching The Adventurine online magazine in the fall of 2015.
For as far back as I can remember, I knew my life would be focused on design. Throughout high school, I envisioned myself an architect, but in college I discovered and became immersed in studio art and ceramics.
The next 20 years I spent consumed by my work in the ceramics studio. I was inspired by Japanese folk art and committed myself to creating simple functional craft pieces. I sold my work at street fairs and holiday shows and joined a small craft co-op where I met my wife, Lauren Eulau, who was a studio weaver.
Our crafts co-op evolved into a small crafts store Lauren and I owned together. For several years we sold only ceramics and weaving. It wasn't until 1986, when our daughter was born and we had been together almost 10 years, that we quit making art and devoted our careers to providing a venue where we would sell the work of other artists exclusively.
Now, 25 years later, we find ourselves in a very different place and continuing to evolve. TWIST is a Portland, Oregon based jewelry store focusing on the work of contemporary jewelry designers and crafts people. We represent the work of over 100 jewelry designers and bench jewelers. We now have 2 stores, one in Portland Oregon and one in Seattle as well as an active e-commerce web site. We employe 25 people including 5 that work exclusively on TWISTonline.com.
We love retail and providing unparalleled customer service as well as adapting to the challenges of staying current in a quick changing designer jewelry environment, but our hearts and souls are with the beauty and skill of the artist. From the very beginning, our highest priority as a couple was making, collecting and living with beautiful objects - this basic principle remains the fuel that powers our lives and business today.