2014 KickStarter Line Up Unveiled

01 May 2014

Ten outstanding new jewellery designers have been unveiled as the IJL KickStarters for 2014 – and the hotly contended contest now begins to find the ‘People’s Choice’ KickStarter.

International Jewellery London’s acclaimed KickStart bursary initiative, aimed at supporting the Best of British young jewellers, offers ten talented designers a place on this unique mentoring programme. The winners will not only benefit from exhibiting on a group stand at the 2014 show but will also receive valuable marketing and industry support from IJL and the British Jewellers Association. IJL's Trend partner, the leading jewellery forecaster, Adorn Insight, will once again be awarding the Adorn Insight Award to one outstanding KickStarter, which includes a year's subscription and valuable bespoke mentoring.

The industry is now invited to vote for the one designer to watch as the ‘People’s Choice’, who will be awarded a free stand in the Design Gallery at IJL 2015. The voting begins on May 6 – and closes on June 6. Twitter users can tweet the name of the KickStarter they’d like to vote for with #KickStartVote, while Instagram users can post a picture of their favourite KickStarter or product with the same hashtag to cast their vote. Facebook users can cast their votes via the IJL Facebook page, as well as directly at: www.jewellerylondon.com/kickstartvote. All potential KickStarters also will be encouraged to campaign for votes.

Sam Willoughby, IJL Event Director, commented: “KickStart has proved itself over the past six years as a serious commercial launch pad for some of the most exciting new jewellery designers in the UK. It is a valuable opportunity for the lucky winners to impress visitors at the show, as well as move their businesses forward with the support of the industry. I am really impressed by this year’s line up and I am sure the competition for the ‘People’s Choice‘ will be fierce. Let the voting begin!”

The KickStart line-up 2014:

Tom Blake

With his varied experience and intricate skill set, Tom Blake has developed keep me, a brand new collection. Thoughtful jewellery, with a unique and appealing twist, that combines fun with beautifully detailed, colourful animals. Each animal has a special collar which, when removed, is a wearable sterling silver ring - perfect for gifting and collecting. Previous to keep me, Tom worked on feature films as a sculptor, an animatronics designer and a 3D artist.

"To be selected for KickStart 2014 really is an incredible opportunity. The exposure it will give us all, along with the advice and feedback from industry experts, will be invaluable. I can't wait to get to IJL and see what people think of keep me."

Kristjan Eyjolfsson

The Kristjan Eyjolfsson brand thrives on the energy of its London surroundings, as well as its founders' diverse backgrounds - resulting in Nordic-infused collections that are elegant and characterised by uncompromising functionality and exceptional craftsmanship. The brand's fully customisable collections are made from sustainably-sourced gold, silver, platinum and precious gems, and so always make a bold design and ecological statement.

"With existing customers as far afield as Australia, the US as well as Europe, I know our brand has global appeal. Exhibiting at IJL as part of KickStart will provide us greater exposure and access to influential buyers and industry experts from all over the world. The opportunity to communicate our ecological commitment, craftsmanship and design through our products, on such a respected stage, is extremely exciting!"

Sophie Alice Hirsch

Sophie Alice Hirsch creates desirable objects using precious materials, meticulously crafted. With a creative instinct and attention to detail inherited from her engineer grandfather, she progressed from studying fine jewellery at night school in Manchester to studying at Central Saint Martins, London. She launched her brand Sophie Alice Hirsch Jewellery early in 2013. Her conceptual approach to design, combined with an acute awareness of fashion, has produced collections inspired by dark sensibilities: the macabre, subversive or distasteful aspects of society that drive Sophie's passion for originality. Her first collection, The Fallen Woman, is a collection of two halves, exploring the role of the female in society, and uses precious metals, semi-precious stones and natural feathers.

“IJL KickStart is one of the best opportunities given to up and coming jewellers, and I’m very excited to be chosen to present alongside nine talented emerging designers and those already established in the industry. London is a major centre for fashion and design, and so is crucial to developing and showcasing new talent. I hope that taking part in IJL KickStart will build confidence in myself as a designer and in the brand.”

Rosie May Hofman

Rosie May is an adventurous designer who thrives on her original approach of creating unique treasures. She creates jewellery that uses modern technologies alongside traditional and ancient craft. Sentiment and meaning is embedded in the design, whilst capturing a conceptual thread. As a child, Rosie has always been drawn to intriguing objects - from the necklace around her Mother’s neck to her Grandparents’ silver ornaments. Her childhood was spent in rural Gloucestershire building dens, collecting shells, leaf skeletons and seed-cases. Rosie has always explored with taking things apart, manmade or natural, and discovering their hidden mechanisms and structures. A clear love for small, beautiful, intricate elements, this designer creates work which captures a magical inquisitiveness.

She creates collections from intricately designed elements in silver and gold vermeil. Each piece can be strung, stacked and interconnected, creating a collection with endless possibilities. Elements interact with one another in different ways, creating a ‘mechanical elegance’. All pieces have a tangible value to them, encouraging the wearer to explore their various arrangements. Spontaneity, curiosity, interaction and narrative are all at the heart of the Treasure Maker.

“I am excited and proud to have been selected for this amazing opportunity, which is a massive stepping-stone on the journey to my business, Rosie May Jewellery, being successful and reaching its full potential. I can’t wait to be exposed to such an exciting audience and getting a huge satisfaction from the different responses and interactions I will encounter. This opportunity will inspire bold and fresh direction.”

Iwona Majdan

Majdan Rocks is jewellery that inspires conversation, draws on emotions and challenges tradition. The star behind the brand is Iwona Majdan, a professional artist, mother and jewellery designer obsessed by pushing boundaries and challenging conventions. With Polish roots, a Canadian upbringing, and London as her home base, Iwona has successfully fused a background in provocative situational art with designing jewellery that is daring and edgy, yet completely beautiful in form.

Having founded Majdan Rocks in Autumn 2012, her bold designs quickly sparked interest among fashion savvy women. Her jewellery has already won the attention of some high-profile celebrities, including Nicole Scherzinger and Christine Bleakley. Iwona holds an MA from Goldsmiths College in Fine Arts and a diploma in Jewellery Manufacture from Holts Academy of Jewellery.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be part of KickStart 2014! It is such a great opportunity for a young designer. I am sure I will benefit greatly from the experience.”

Jeanne Marell

Jeanne Marell designs and makes minimalist jewellery with a twist from her studio in London, alongside a successful career in product and colour and materials design. Apart from jewellery, Jeanne’s portfolio includes Cadillac and Hyundai interiors, Hewlett Packard laptops, Nokia phones and Samsung products, to name but a few.

Jeanne Marell believes in creating unique, enduring designs. Her pieces are precious objects with a style that lasts beyond the next fashion trend. They are designed to interact with people, as they recognise the concept behind the design, but are surprised to see its Individual interpretation into jewellery. Forms are often combinations of simple geometries and each design combines two materials or finishes in an unexpected way. They reveal their intricate detailing to those who take a closer look. Jeanne Marell produces work in gold and silver, and often combines these with non-precious materials such as wood, perspex and nylon. Her workshop practices are as ethical and sustainable as feasible, including using Fairtrade gold and silver. All pieces containing precious metal are hallmarked at the London Assay Office.

“After having visited and seen the amazing quality and creativity on display at IJL 2013, I am excited to be part of this year's KickStart group. The opportunity to showcase my minimalist jewellery with a twist will undoubtedly mean I will reach new customers and, through them, consumers. I particularly look forward to direct feedback from potential stockists and press, and hopefully can grow my company as businesses start to stock my pieces.”

Agnieszka Maksymiuk

Agnieszka Maksymiuk is an award winning jewellery designer maker with Polish origins, having trained first in Poland at the Academy of Fine Arts (MA, Design for Industry) and then in the United Kingdom (HND Jewellery & Silversmithing, Birmingham). Her vocational education and years of experience contribute to her creation of original pieces with artistic potential made from precious materials, combining new and traditional techniques. All the details are hand carved by the artist and paintings are transferred onto the metal surface. This creative jewellery aims to exist as small sculptures and pieces of art. Her new collection is about the relationship between the urban and the natural world in different places and cultures, inspired by the landscapes of England and Poland. The main objective is to catch the essence and potential of the particular place and tell the viewer a story which is hidden behind each piece. At the moment Agnieszka is an Artist in Residence and visiting lecturer at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham.

“I strongly believe that the support and mentoring provided by IJL and the BJA will help me to grow and promote my brand in many aspects. Being selected for KickStart 2014 gives me an amazing opportunity to launch my Agnieszka Maksymiuk jewellery and ideas into a professional environment and offers a great progression for my business. It is a real honour to be part of this prestigious event and I will make the most of it.”

Cara Tonkin

Cara Tonkin designs beautiful, elegant and bold jewellery for stylish and strong-minded women. Her work marries classic and contemporary design to create one-off, timeless pieces. Inspiration is drawn from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements with references to the stylised and symbolic organic forms of Art Nouveau and the streamlined, sculptural and decadent aspects of Art Deco. It is jewellery that comes to life when worn - intricate, playful and tactile, yet expressing glamour and elegance.

“Being selected for KickStart will provide a great boost to my jewellery design business - Cara Tonkin. I have previously exhibited at retail shows but not at a trade show, and certainly nowhere as prominent and well-respected as IJL. The exposure to new stockists and the media, as well as being in the company of so many talented new and established designers, make it a really exciting prospect for me.”

Luka Pasikowski

Luka Pasikowski springs from the family of goldsmiths. Luka designs and hand crafts all his pieces and his jewellery is shaped by his training as a sculptor, as well as being an independent jeweller. In 2012 he launched Cardinal of London, creating sculptural, exquisite statement rings which boldly interpret classic motives as well as smaller creations, such as cute carnivalesque rings, grotesque charms, and elegant earrings. The logo of the company – Minotaur (Minotaur Ring) incarnates the intense energy of Cardinal’s design, the beauty of the mythical beast in ultramodern form. This year Luka is introducing his ultramodern and chic “Interstellar” collection, showcasing the futuristic facet to Cardinal of London's work. Pieces for modern gentlemen are also a specialty of Cardinal – unisex signet rings or dandy wallet chains which grasp the attention of a discerning and edgy male clientele. In 2012 he achieved his first public recognition. Cardinal’s Jewelled Horse Ring’ received an award at the Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards. Luka is also a tutor at the London Holts Academy of Jewellery.

“Cardinal of London is delighted to be selected for KickStart 2014. Exposure is vital for the recognition in the media to reach customers and IJL is London’s most prestigious annual gathering of brands, designers and traders. I am very excited to be amongst such a fantastic selection of designers and I believe IJL is a platform to communicate and promote my brand, connect with retailers and hit the wider range of customers from UK and abroad. I believe that the IJL trade show is an ideal place to find publicity and support from industry professionals. This is simply the place to be and to be seen.”

Charlotte Valkeniers

Originally from Belgium, Charlotte first came to England on a university exchange project. She fell in love with all things British and has not looked back since. After finishing her BA in Buckinghamshire, she embarked on a Masters degree at LCF in London. Coming from an entrepreneurial family, Charlotte always knew she wanted to start her own company. With her family behind her, she had the courage to ‘jump in the deep end’ and go it alone.

Although her work generally gets put in the 'fashion jewellery' category, Charlotte takes great pride in the hand making of each piece and the unique qualities this offers. As her work is very linear and often geometric, hand making each piece gives it that edge and individuality that is necessary to make a simple piece of jewellery stand out.

“Being selected for KickStart as a young designer is a fantastic opportunity as it gives you that all important industry backing. It also tells you that you are on the right track, which is pretty amazing feeling.”

Find out more about KickStart and People’s Choice at www.jewellerylondon.com/kickstartvote or #KickStartVote


Notes to Editors

IJL 2014 will run from 31 August to 2 September 2014 at Olympia, London. LUXURY by IJL, The Ultimate in Luxury Jewellery, will run from 31 August to 1 September at Olympia, London.

For more information about IJL and LUXURY by IJL, please contact: Jennifer Hall-Thompson or Suzanna Hammond +44 (0) 207 630 6633 / +44 (0) 7944 860 839 IJLPressoffice@reedexpo.co.uk 

Images available on request.

About International Jewellery London

International Jewellery London is your only dedicated UK jewellery trade event, unveiling the latest inspiring collections, contemporary and classic.

IJL celebrates the most talented, innovative British and International jewellery designers, wholesalers and manufacturers.

International Jewellery London takes place at Olympia, London from 31 August – 2 September 2014. For further information please visit www.jewellerylondon.com

IJL is sponsored by the NAG & BJA and supported by the GIA, Gem-A, The Houlden Group, The Company of Master Jewellers, Platinum Guild International, The Responsible Jewellery Council and CIBJO.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 39 countries. In 2011 Reed brought together six million active event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 33 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 44 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider and a FTSE 100 company. www.reedexpo.com  

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