IJL announces new panellist and sponsorship for Bright Young Gems

Shaun Leane_3

Annual jewellery trade show, International Jewellery London (IJL), has announced a new guest designer judge to the Bright Young Gems panel and important sponsorship support for the initiative.

The IJL Bright Young Gems initiative enters a new era in its eleventh year with British luxury fine jewellery designer, Shaun Leane, joining the selection panel. IJL has also confirmed that the National Association of Goldsmiths Centenary Trust will be providing valuable sponsorship support through travel and accommodation bursaries worth £200 for each of the five nominated Bright Young Gem designers.

Leane, who replaces retiring panellist Bec Astley Clarke MBE, founder and executive chairman of Astley Clarke, joins the prestigious judging panel of Hilary Alexander, OBE, editor at large Hello Fashion monthly magazine; Vivienne Becker of the Financial Times – How To Spend It magazine; Claudia Mahoney, executive fashion and beauty director of Glamour magazine and Annabel Davidson, editor of Vanity Fair on Jewellery.

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Event director, Sam Willoughby, comments: “Every year the Bright Young Gems programme offers five young innovative designers great exposure and an unparalleled opportunity to access their first commercial platform to showcase their work to such an influential audience. IJL welcomes over 10,350 industry professionals from 64 countries during the three days of the show. And it is particularly rewarding to see how many of these young designers have then gone on during the past ten years to become leading stars in the industry”.

Willoughby adds: “We are extremely grateful to have the support of all the major UK universities and colleges, together now with Shaun, one of the UK’s most creative contemporary designers, and the National Association of Jewellers. We are also very appreciative of Bec Astley Clarke’s support and guidance over the years.”

Commenting on his new role as a panellist, Leane stresses the importance of the industry supporting Britain’s emerging design talent “Platforms such as Bright Young Gems are essential,” explains Leane. “They allow our flourishing young designers to grow in all areas of their careers. It is so important that we nurture their talents and aspirations as they are the future of our industry.”

Lindsey Straughton of The National Association of Jewellers says: “Bright Young Gems attracts applications from right across the country and this newly established NAG bursary will financially help the nominated designers take their first steps into the commercial world. As existing supporters of IJL’s very successful KickStart mentoring programme, we are delighted to now be part of this initiative. Several former Bright Young Gems designers have gone on to become high profile KickStarters – and we want to encourage more young designers to take advantage of these two unique, yet seamless, schemes, as part of fast-tracking their careers.”

The Bright Young Gems are selected from final year students at colleges and universities across the UK and details of how to apply can be found at

The closing date for Bright Young Gems 2016 is Friday May 20 2016.

Tags : Astley Clarkebec astley clarkebright young gemsfinancial timesGlamour magazineHello FashionIJLInternational Jewellery Londonjewellery designerslindsey straughtonNAJNational Association of Goldsmiths Centenary TrustNational Association of Jewellerssam willoughbyShaun LeaneVanity Fair

The author Stacey Hailes

Editor, Professional Jeweller

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