How the German show plans to become Europe’s most trendsetting event.
After celebrating 40 years in 2013, German trade show Inhorgenta Munich is preparing for the future with the introduction of its new Inspiration Lab within the Trends & Vision Hall, promising emerging talent and of-the-moment industry discussion. Kathryn Bishop finds out more.
As the doors of the 41st Inhorgenta Munich show open in February, the trade event will unveil a brand new concept for 2014, positioning itself as the leading European trade show for modern jewellery design.
Its latest initiative, the Inspiration Lab, will showcase emerging designers and intriguing manufacturing processes, and will give visitors a chance to take part in discussions with jewellery experts from around the world.
This concept, due to be located in the show’s recently revamped Trends & Vision hall, promises “an interdisciplinary event with experts, designers and forward thinkers”, curated by leading German graphic design studio Bureau Mirko Borsche, which will add its own design-led slant to the project.
The space will allow visitors and exhibitors alike to interact with jewellery and design processes, while discovering new talents. The Bureau has teamed with experts in science, art, fashion, film, architecture, product design, photography and music, who will take part in a number of lectures, workshops, exhibitions and presentations focused on jewellery.
Among the highlights promised by Inhorgenta will be a symposium about pearls, with pearl producers, dealers and designers lined up to lead talks, with scientists on hand to discuss oyster farming and the environmental conditions impacting the oceans and pearl production.
Inhorgenta product manager Renate Wittgenstein says of the Inspiration Lab: “It derives from two years ago when we started with the Inhorgenta Munich Future Marketing Summit. The Lab will create a networking platform between the jewellery and watch industries.”
The move is an intriguing but not unexpected one for Inhorgenta, as it aims to ensure the show and its jewellery offer appeals to a more design-conscious, discerning audience, arguably toning down the un-sexy vibe of jewellery trade shows in favour of some futuristic excitement.
Compared to shows such as BaselWorld and SIHH, where luxury brands reign supreme, the Inspiration Lab initiative, and the revamped hall space in which it is housed, takes jewellery in a fresh direction and investigates what is happening at the very cutting-edge of workbenches and, as the project’s name suggests, the labs of companies experimenting with groundbreaking 3D printing and CAD.
“In the coming years, we will develop the profile of Inhorgenta further as a brand so that it continues to be perceived as a future-oriented and fashion-conscious trade show,” explains Wittgenstein. “Our aim is to position the show as a trend platform in the mid- to high-price segment for the long term, and we would like to further enhance the profile of Inhorgenta Munich as a meeting point for contemporary jewellery and design.”
This year’s show will also feature a live demonstration of 3D printing and rendering, with trendsetting sculptor and jeweller Jordan Askill hosting a project dubbed the Object Render Farm, in which he will design a signature piece of jewellery in front of visitors, before it is produced live using several 3D printers.
Inhorgenta’s desire to become a fashion-conscious trade show for jewellery will involve showcasing a wider selection of brands and products.
British Jewellery & Giftware International is working in conjunction with UKTI and the British Jewellers’ Association to take a group of 14 designers to the show, including Andrew Geoghegan, Sheila Fleet, Filipa Oliveira, I Love a Lassie and Mounir. For them, Inhorgenta represents a chance to meet international buyers while showcasing products that differ to the designs typically shown on the continent.
For Amishi Dhanuka, director of jewellery brand Amishi London, which will show separately, the international vibe of the show is a draw this year. “Inhorgenta is visited by buyers from various target markets and is a great platform to showcase our new collection. We are targeting mainly European buyers with our bold, statement pieces. [They] tend to be a niche look for the European market but do make a good addition to retailers’ otherwise safe portfolios.”
Indeed, if there is one thing Inhorgenta 2014 wants to hammer home, it is that jewellery design is not just about being careful and commercial, but pushing design exploration to its limit, both live before your eyes and through the products in your shop window.
This Hot Topic feature was taken from the January Guest Editor issue of Professional Jeweller, led by Annoushka Ducas. To read the issue in full online, click here.