This year’s ITS SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Jewelry Award has gone to Xiao Zi Yang for her impressively smart entry.
On Saturday July 14, years of dreaming, designing and studying came to a climax when out of the ranks of the world’s emerging jewelry design talent stepped Xiao Zi Yang. Against stiff competition, this promising young designer was crowned winner of the ITS 2012 SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Jewelry Award at a glittering ceremony in Trieste, Italy.
Jewelry design, once the Cinderella of the fashion design industry, was added to the ITS (International Talent Support) roster of categories to bring young jewelry designers out of the shadows and give them visibility and support. In its time-honored spirit of collaboration with world-class designers and international fashion and design schools, SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS sponsors the award.
This year’s panel of jurors comprised Ute Schumacher, Vice President of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Trend Research & Design; London jewelry designer Simon Harrison; Vicki Sarge-Beamon of Erickson Beamon; and Gitte Dyrberg and Henning Kern of Dyrberg Kern –distinguished figures, all of them, from the world of jewelry design.
The competition brief was simply “to create new, wearable pieces of jewelry incorporating SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, using a mix of materials inspired by ethnic and tribal influences.” It was founded on the observation that the fashion and design world is being influenced by a countermovement opposing the effects of globalization and mass markets where everything looks the same. Heritage and tradition have brought about a new design language and a resulting rich cultural mix – kimonos made of African wax prints or Bavarian dirndls made from Indian sari fabric, for instance.
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. Her work showed versatility with an ingenious contemporary twist, each piece cleverly composed of interchangeable parts that can be repaired or changed in accordance with the latest trends in color or materials.
For her sterling efforts, Xiao Zi Yang has won a cash prize of €10,000 and a six-month internship at Swarovski’s headquarters in Austria.