Following a number of requests from colleges, the closing date for entries for this year’s Bright Young Gems mentoring scheme for graduating students and recently graduated jewellery designers, has been extended from Sunday June 6 to June 13, one week later.
Working closely with the National Association of Jewellers, this year’s competition is open to current year graduates as well as those who have recently graduated in 2020.
Submissions to be sent to: https://www.dropbox.com/request/pkZwaztItsvrzgwmX6T7. Any issues with uploading, applications can also be emailed to: [email protected]
Wen-Ju Tseng, BYG winner 2019
For the first time, there will be two categories to reflect the growing demand and interest in sustainability:
- Show Off – Statement pieces
Designs and/or finished pieces showing creative flair with innovative use of materials and which demonstrate potential commercial viability
- Responsible Thinking – Sustainable eco-heroes
Designs and/or finished pieces made with ethically sourced or sustainable materials and which demonstrate potential commercial viability
The stellar judging line-up includes both press and industry leaders, including Hilary Alexander OBE (President of the Graduate Foundation who has been involved since the scheme’s inception), Imogen Belfield (award winning jewellery designer who herself started her career as a Bright Young Gem), Melanie Grant (Luxury Editor of the Economist’s 1843 sister magazine, influential social media commentator and speaker on luxury, jewellery and watches), Katerina Perez (social media influencer with more than 12 years’ experience in the jewellery sector, including running the successful online course ‘How to sell jewellery on Instagram’) and Susi Smither (Founder of both The Rock Hound, East London’s Gemmologist Jeweller, specialising in creating sustainable iconic design-led jewellery and, more recently, Fair Luxury, an independent collective of jewellery industry entrepreneurs with a shared vision for a responsible and sustainable industry).
The five winning Bright Young Gems will have the opportunity to attend and display their collections as part of the National Association of Jeweller’s showcase at the new one-day UK Jewellery Festival, organised by Retail Jeweller, on 1 September at The Brewery on Chiswell Street. Here the BYGs will have the opportunity to show their collections to senior retail decision makers and buyers. They will also have the chance to hear from some of the most respected names in retail, talking on topics including the future of the store and experiential retailing.
To help towards travel and showing costs, the Benevolent Society have kindly agreed to provide each winner with a bursary of £300. The winners will also benefit from publicity and valuable online mentoring in July, in conjunction with the NAJ, leading up to the Festival. This will include virtual meetings with each of the judges to discuss their work.
Interested students and designers can contact [email protected] for more information.