INTERVIEW – HRD Antwerp launches global jewellery design contest to embrace and promote talent

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HRD Antwerp is launching a global jewellery design competition to embrace and encourage talent around the world, says CEO Ellen Joncheere. In this interview with Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough, Ellen gives full details about the current 18th edition of the HRD Antwerp Design Awards.

Applicants should register by submitting their original designs in a strictly impartial adjudication process via this link: www.hrdantwerpdesignawards.com

What is HRD Antwerp looking to achieve by staging these awards?

To go global. From our Belgian heritage, the City of Diamonds and our history, being the first institute to create an awards platform that appreciates the talent of designers, to a Global expansion.

Our aim has always been to give full access to designers – young or experienced – to partake in these awards and display their innovative and disruptive ideas through their designs. In the end, creativity, talent and, of course, diamonds are all part of our DNA.

Ellen Joncheere

Ellen Joncheere

What is the theme of this year’s contest? Why this theme?

The design theme for 2022 is “PEACE – It Starts with You”.

The theme of Peace was finalized in view of the current global scenario. We wanted to extend the message of hope for a better future and what better way than by giving the opportunity to artists around the globe to become known, making the expression of their creativity possible.

What are the categories? Why these categories? 

We have three categories this year: Diamond, Gemstones (including pearls) and the new category Accessories.

We are accepting one design per category which could be a hand sketched or CAD rendered design. A participant can send their design in either the diamond, gemstone, or accessory category or all three categories based on the technical specifications. More information on the technical specifications is available on our website under the rules and regulations section.

The diamond and gemstone categories have always been part of the design awards. The accessories category was introduced to widen the scope of designers who wish to take part. In our last edition in 2020, we received a sizeable number of designs which were accessories such as masks with diamonds and gemstones (given it was the lockdown). We wanted to ensure that such designs have their own category with limitless possibilities.

As HRD Antwerp’s core businesses are diamond grading, jewellery grading and education, having the diamond and gemstone category was essential. The accessories category is what we want to explore.

HRD Antwerp Design Award

How can designers enter? What are the limits on those who can apply, e.g., are there age limits?

Participants can register via our dedicated website: www.hrddesignawards.com. We recommend that all the participants read the rules and regulations on the website for more information on the technical elements for the designs.

There are no age limits as creative minds have no age. However, any participant below the age of 18 years will need to contact us with their parents’ or guardians’ consent.

I would like to emphasize a crucial rule which is about the ownership of submitted designs. The ownership of the design stays with the designer. Only the jury members and our dedicated team will be able to view the designs for the judging process and backend support.

When is the deadline for registrations? Via what internet link?

The deadline for participants to register has been extended to October 15, 2022, after multiple requests from designers.

The registration process for an individual can be completed by visiting the dedicated website www.hrddesignawards.com. Applicants can register their details to submit their designs before or by October 15. If they face any issues, we have a dedicated team to assist them with their registration and design submissions.

What is the adjudication process?

Our jury committee, consisting of high-level experts from the luxury industry, will start judging the designs from October 25 until December 15 via an online module.

The jury committee will rate a design from 1 to 5 based on five specific criteria which include originality (source of inspiration), wearability, manufacturability, technique, and the creative use of diamonds/gemstones.

Each design will have only a Unique Registration Number (URN) which is assigned automatically to a participant on registering with us making the judging secure, anonymous and fair.  The design will also have information on the designer’s source of inspiration explaining in a maximum of 10 lines what inspired them to create this design within the scope of the theme ‘Peace’.

The jury committee will only consider the designs receiving a minimum of 4 votes for the next round. The five finalists in each category will be selected by the votes.

The winners, first runner-ups and second runner-ups in each category will be selected based on the total ratings received. The overall best designer will be selected based on the highest ratings received amongst all the submitted designs.

How, when, and where will the winners be announced? What do the winners receive?

Our main red-carpet Grand Finale is scheduled for January 22, 2023 at Vicenzaoro in Vicenza, Italy. The finalists will be informed at the end of the jury process. We will announce the names of the finalists on our website, social media handles and in the press.

The winners will be announced on this occasion. We are coordinating with sponsors who will manufacture the winning designs including the runner-up designs.

All participants and finalists will receive a certificate and will be featured in our 2023 Designer’s Directory with their consent. This will allow all participants to be in touch with the industry and vice versa.

Will there be strong publicity and social media support for the winners?

Yes, we will support and create publicity for the winners and the sponsors who will back them. We will communicate about the designers, the event, the post event and the winners on our social media handles, website and via press releases.

HRD Antwerp Design Award