Couture Design Awards
One of the highlights of Couture — the Couture Design Awards — set new records in 2013 with over 170 submissions, and the competition promises to show you again in 2014 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 2014!
A native of Vilnius, Alex received a graduate degree in industrial design from the Lithuanian Academy of Arts. His studies included interiors, glass making, sculpture, etchings and graphics with his graduate work ultimately in jewelry design. With a strong understanding and respect for precision and balance, Alex developed a great passion for the intricacies of his craft, creating a world that can be truly appreciated only under a microscope.
Amanda Weiner is the Senior Accessories Editor at Harper’s Bazaar, where her penchant for fabulous jewelry clearly comes through on the glossy pages each month. With a keen eye for what’s trending as well as a deep understanding of important jewelry, Amanda is often featured in the press as a fashion influencer and authority on all things accessories. Prior to her position at Harper’s Bazaar, Amanda was the Senior Fashion and Accessories Editor at Niche Media.
In her roll as President of London Jewelers, Candy Udell fosters the creative side of the business, including merchandising, marketing, advertising and store design. Her influence has helped make London Jewelers what it is today—highly respected and an innovative leader.
Mrs. Udell’s career at London Jewelers started in 1973, the same year she married Mark Udell, grandson of London Jeweler’s founder, Charles London. Her accomplishments and contributions to the industry have been recognized with numerous awards throughout the years, including most recently the Women’s Jewelry Association’s 2013 “Hall of Fame” Award.
A native of Ashdown, Arkansas, Joanne Teichman began her professional career in the advertising business. While in living in New York City, Joanne met the love of her life Charles, who had recently emigrated from Paris. In 1985, after marrying in New York the couple moved to Dallas to open what was then Ylang-Ylang. Joanne was instrumental in discovering and cultivating original American designers worn by celebrities and entertainers, featured on the covers of top Fashion magazines. The business took off due to an unmatched level of customer service and stepping outside the box to discover new talent, no matter how tiny or obscure. Additionally, Joanne's creative talents were put to use in positioning, marketing, and merchandising Ylang 23 (the store was renamed in 2004 after the couple's lucky number -- they met on the 23rd, were engaged on the 23rd and married on the 23rd).
Joanne has pushed the envelope on many fronts including: launching an e-commerce site in 2000 to sell high end designer jewelry; being one of the earliest adapters of Social Media including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Polyvore, Instagram, and her blog (Joanne's Eye) launched in 2007; and in 2011 pushing the boundaries by partnering with FiftyOne to sell Ylang 23 jewelry in 40 currencies and shipping to 106 countries.
Vivienne Becker is a renowned jewellery historian, award-winning journalist and author of several books on the history of jewellery design. She is a Contributing Editor to the Financial Times’ luxury magazine, How To Spend It, writes regularly for the Telegraph and the Saturday Telegraph, and has her own column in Sotheby’s At Auction magazine, as well as contributing to newspapers and magazines around the world. Her books include Antique and Twentieth Century Jewellery, Art Nouveau Jewelry, the standard work on the subject, Fabulous Costume Jewelry, the first in-depth academic study of the history of fashion jewellery, and more recently she has written books on De Beers and Alexandre Reza, telling the story of the life and work of this great gem-merchant and jeweller. The Impossible Collection of Jewelry: The 100 Most Important Jewels of the 20th Century, a sumptuous limited edition volume, was published in 2013, and this year will see the publication of a book on Sevan Bicacki, the Turkish artist-jeweller. Vivienne collaborated with former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, on her best-selling book about her collection of brooches, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box, which was published in 2009. She has written chapters for various other books and encyclopedias, the most recent being a chapter on contemporary Indian jewellery, for Beyond Extravagance, charting a world-leading collection of Indian jewelled artworks, published in 2013.
Vivienne has curated and written catalogues for major exhibitions, most notably the milestone exhibition of the Jewellery of Rene Lalique, and Jewels of Fantasy, the Swarovski-sponsored exhibition of 20th century fashion jewellery which toured the world for some 10 years. She lectures and broadcasts on her subject around the world.
Well-known in the international jewellery industry, both for her in-depth knowledge of jewellery design, past and present, and for her passion and infectious enthusiasm, Vivienne works as a trend forecaster, and has been part of the Swarovski Gems’ team, contributing to the annual Gem Visions project since its beginning. She is known too for her work as a creative consultant to global brands, where she is uniquely able to fuse history, heritage and modernity, to bring the past into the present with a glimpse of the future.