Shanghai-born Xiao Zi Yang, with her MA from London College of Fashion, stunned the panel of expert judges with a collection inspired by Asian joinery traditionally used in architectural designs made with timber.

TREND REPORT Eyes on the prize

It’s ITS 2013!

Attention all design students: sketchbooks at the ready! Yes, it’s the time of year when the International Talent Support (ITS) spotlight falls on fledgling jewelry designers all over the world, offering them a tantalizing and unmissable chance to raise not just their game, but their profile, too.


SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS deeply believes in identifying and nurturing talent, so it’s back for a third consecutive year to sponsor the ITS 2013 Jewelry Award. The incentive is huge and potentially game-changing for one lucky winner: last year Xiao Zi Yang impressed a stellar panel of high-profile judges and triumphed in the face of stiff competition with her collection inspired by Asian joinery. Her prize was €10,000 plus a six-month internship at Swarovski’s headquarters in Austria, and this is what’s on offer to this year’s winner.

This year, participants have been asked to show how technology and nature are no longer separate—they co-exist, thanks in part to environmental effects of climate change, along with industrialization and urbanization. This is reflected in the merging of city spaces with man-made nature: it can be seen in architecture, but it’s appearing in other design areas, too.

Focusing on its ‘vibrant iridescence and metallic shimmer’, entrants are encouraged to create their own concept of this ‘new’ nature by finding ‘inspiration in shimmering insects, animal skin patterns, sea life colors and mineral structures’.

To enter, entrants must be college students about to complete their course and graduate in 2013, together with fashion, accessories, and jewelry design graduates, and young fashion talents not yet in possession of a diploma. The deadline for enrolling is March 22, 2013, and participants are asked to present three completely original, previously unseen sketches for a necklace, a bracelet, and a third item of their choice, each incorporating SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. Some key descriptors chosen to fire up their imagination are: rainbow colors, shimmer, sparkle, reflection, transparency, nature, technology, metallics and, of course, crystal.

We couldn’t put it any better than the organization themselves: “ITS is a state of mind and a network that comes together during the finals on July 13th, 2013, in Trieste, Italy”. It’s also a “family that grows every year”, which means that the competition grows, too, so it’s anyone’s guess as to who might be crowned this year’s one to watch. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted.

And the lucky winner will be announced in July at a glittering ceremony in Trieste, Italy. Judging by the calibre of the designs from the last two years, it’s set to be a humdinger—we can’t wait to report back!

Swarovski Magazine Cover November 2014

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