Anissa Kermiche has been unveiled as the winner of E.C. One’s annual Unsigned Award, at a ceremony held at E.C. One’s Exmouth Market store yesterday.
Paris-born Anissa Kermiche changed from a successful career in engineering to a new path in jewellery design. Launching her eponymous brand earlier this year, Kermiche spent three years prior studying design, gemmology and 3D computer-aided design.
Her collection aims to blend classic materials with a modern, humorous eye to create statement pieces for women. The judges said it was this unique approach to production and design that caught their eyes.
Jos Skeates, co-founder of E.C. One and judge said of the decision: “The judges were very impressed with the calibre of each of our finalists; the work presented by each designer was unique, intricate and showed a real eye for design expertise. We had to come to a unanimous decision, which was tough. It was Anissa Kermiche’s incredibly distinctive pieces and her business acumen which really stood out. We look forward to building a strong relationship with the brand at E.C. One.”
Anissa Kermiche and the talented finalists – Crystal Ching-I Chien, Olivia Creber and Charlotte Reichwald – were invited to submit their jewellery work to the panel, comprised of industry heavyweights Jo Newton, head buyer at Fortnum and Mason; Sam Willoughby, event director at International Jewellery London; award-winning designer Tomasz Donocik; and jewellery writer Rachael Taylor.
Established by husband and wife duo Alison and Jos Skeates six years ago, the Unsigned competition champions talent across the board irrespective of age, focusing on design faculties and aesthetic appeal, seeking out those who are dedicated to following a career as an independent jewellery designer or maker.
After launching the competition on social media earlier this year, E.C. One’s followers were encouraged to vote for their favourite designer, with the four receiving the most votes then going on to face the judging panel. Previous winners of the Unsigned Award include Hoonik Chang, Clarice Price-Thomas and Flora Bhattachary, all designer-makers who have progressed to develop their collections, secure stockists at E.C. One and beyond, and achieve critical acclaim.
As part of the prize package, jewellery designer Kermiche will enjoy a year’s mentoring by Alison and Jos Skeates, plus the opportunity to showcase her work within the store, as well as manufacturing advice from E.C. One’s team of goldsmiths. Kermiche will also receive a place on Getting Started, The Goldsmiths’ Company’s prestigious business short course, and a PR package with Push PR, who have a long-standing relationship both with E.C. One and within the jewellery industry.