Julie Large joins Abbeycrest as creative director

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Former Hot Diamonds director to revamp jewellery offer at group.

Former Hot Diamonds creative director Julie Large has joined Abbeycrest following her shock departure from the diamond jewellery brand.

Large said: “I am excited by my new role at Abbeycrest. The group needs to have a new creative direction and I am confident that I can deliver some fresh and very commercial collections which will be unveiled over the next few months.”

Large will take up the role at Abbeycrest of creative director and will be based at the group’s Brown & Newith in Hatfield. She will be in charge of leading a rebranding strategy at Brown & Newith as well as designing new collections for Abbeycrest.

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Abbeycrest chairman Simon Ashton said: “With a sound knowledge of commercial design and UK retail jewellery trends, she is the perfect choice to lead Abbeycrest in a new direction for 2011.”

Brown & Newith is undergoing a complete rebranding that will see the jewellery business introduce new collections and overhaul its merchandising to emphasise its Britishness. Abbeycrest has partly blamed poor performance at the division, which specialises in wedding rings, for breaching its covenants with key financial backer Burdale Finance at the end of last year when it failed to hit its 2010 targets.

The new Brown & Newith brand identity will be unveiled at Spring Fair in February, where it will also launch new designer collections.

Collections designed for Abbeycrest’s Global Edge under Large’s direction will be unveiled at IJL in September, Abbeycrest said. Ashton said that Large will be focusing on contemporary collections in gold and silver.

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