Industry judges select five rising stars for ninth year of initiative.
The 2014 Bright Young Gems line-up has been revealed at International Jewellery London (IJL) this week, with five rising stars chosen for the ninth edition of the initiative.
This year’s line-up features designers Fortuna Week, Joanna Bury, Hyuen-Hee Jessie Seo, Youjin Nam and Kiki Tang, who were chosen by a stellar panel of industry judges led by fashion and jewellery consultant Hilary Alexander.
Bright Young Gems aims to provide the selected designers with a unique commercial platform as they begin to establish their reputations for producing outstanding contemporary jewellery.
The initiative offers the five new jewellery designers the opportunity to showcase their work at IJL on a group stand in the Design Gallery and, in doing so, a chance to break into the commercial world and meet key retailers.
The designers are nominated for Bright Young Gems to appear before a prestigious panel that, in 2014, included Vivienne Becker of the Financial Time’s How To Spend It, Claudia Mahoney of Glamour magazine, Caragh McKay from Wallpaper* Magazine and Bec Astley Clarke of Astley Clarke.
Hilary Alexander said: "Inspirational thinking behind this year’s decision to extend the reach of Bright Young Gems to outside the London area. Thrilling to see such a high standard from the BYG finalists and to discover the creative explosion in new jewellery coming from Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham".
This year’s Bright Young Gems can be found on stand R10, where they are showcasing their collections as a group. Find out more about their inspirations below.
Fortuna was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in New York City. Here, she pursued a career in dance before relocating to London. Inspired by the creative pulse London offers, Fortuna returned to study Jewellery Design and recently graduated with a BA (Hons) in Jewellery Design from Central Saint Martins. Her graduate collection entitled ‘Repetition, Rhythm and Cycles’ was inspired by natural cycles occurring in nature, and the effect on these cycles when interrupted by outside forces resulting in changes in direction from the original path. Fortuna uses imported silk threads, pearls and precious metals in her work to create intricate patterns to make jewellery that complements and adorns the body.
Joanna originally studied for a BA in Fashion Design and went on to specialise as a lingerie designer; she worked in the industry for seven years primarily based in the UK, China and New York. In search of a new creative challenge, Joanna has recently completed a Silversmithing and Jewellery degree at Truro and Penwith College; her design style is distinct and clearly links back to her training as a lingerie designer. Joanna derives her inspiration from modern urban culture, as well as patterns within Asian cultures and the designs found in contemporary and tribal jewellery. She is ultimately inspired by tattooing and body adornment.
Hyuen-Hee Jessie Seo
A recent graduate from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design with a BA in Jewellery Design, Jessie likes to mix popular ideas with unconventional means. Uncompromising when it comes to experimentation with materials and techniques, she sees her jewellery as a saturated mix of perceived environment and artful expression. In this collection, she started out with the question: how do you wear fl ora? She wanted to simulate the texture of a multileveled, coarse tree bark and of a velvety fl ower petal, whilst showcasing the depth of nature’s design. And at the end of the day, literally when the night falls as expressed by the colour tone of the collection, these textures and designs would reveal themselves to be much deeper than the shadow of their shapes.
Youjim Nam is a designer who has been continuously experimenting with materials and developing techniques of her own. She recently graduated from MA Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery at The Royal College of Art, having previously studied metalwork in Hongik University in South Korea. All of her designs contain feelings and impressions drawn from handcrafts. Her delicate, geometrical and tactile jewellery pieces have natural and structural sensibilities.
Kiki Tang is a jewellery designer and artisan with Chinese roots, living and working in London. Through her training at The Cass, Kiki’s jewellery shows an excellent blend of the traditional and contemporary. She specialises in using an exciting range of materials. The inspiration for her design originates from sea creatures, such as coral and sea anemones, which help her craft unique and aesthetic pieces.