Haute couture and ready-to-wear have the advantage of their biannual international showings with an audience made up of the crème de la crème of style’s elite, eager to be the first to single out the industry’s brightest young stars.
But what about jewelry? Of course there are innumerate showcases and trade events on a rolling basis and the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris – the world’s preeminent fine jewelry, art and antique fair – but often a strong, individual voice that captures the zeitgeist is the simple key to a successful jewelry range. That and good timing, of course.
Indeed only too often, success can be such a whirlwind that young jewelry designers go from creating custom pieces for their friends and family – in the case of some of our tipped up-and-comers such as Madyha Farooqui and Emar Batalha – to suddenly finding that there is a mass market for their unique offerings before they have even had time to catch a breath. And the media can sometimes be one of the very last to catch on.
That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of Elite’s Style Editor Drew Taylor to take a look at some of the freshest and most exciting young jewelry lines that we’re tipping for big things in the future.
From edgy animal motifs to more classical art deco styles, updated mythology to the latest cocktail ring trend, these versatile young designers represent a myriad of approaches and perspectives.
What they all have in common though, is an ability to mesh old school glamour with edgy modernism and a focus on the use of some of the rarest and most precious materials on earth – from white gold to sparkling sapphires and rose cut diamonds – to create high quality fine jewelry to last a lifetime and beyond. Because some things just never go out of style.
Image credit: Ana Khouri
Drawing inspiration from mythology, religion and the natural world, 26-year-old Daniel Phillip Belevitch’s edgy designs are distinctly rock’n’roll.
Originally of Russian descent, his distinctive first collection showcases an alluring array of precious and semi stones including white and black diamonds, blue topaz and green amethyst.
Motifs of feathers, spiderwebs, snakes and religious crosses appear throughout – with each statement piece set in 18kt gold.
Gloriously gothic but always refined, each of Belevitch’s bold luxe creations bears a signature pear-shaped green tsavorite, with the designer also specializing in unique bespoke items.
Speaking about his work, the young designer says: “My collections are not confined to any mould, I want each piece to be visually breathtaking in design and bring fine jewellery to a new contemporary platform.”
Founded by New York sisters Nicole and Kim Carosella, the Sorellina design house works with raw sapphires, pre 1940s diamonds and modern cuts to create incredibly striking pieces.
These captivating Axl Fiore Marquise earrings, made with 17kt rough cut sapphires set in blackened gold with 2kt diamonds, are just one example of the pair’s exquisite designs, all exclusively produced in the US.
In addition to their current collection, Sorellina create beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces upon request.
The company also makes custom-designed engagement rings and wedding bands, aiming to produce items that will one day become family heirlooms, and also focuses on sustainability – with almost all materials recycled for later use.
Now available at four exclusive stores in NY, LA and Massachusetts, Sorellina is a uniquely individual brand that is set to grow in the coming years – and deservedly so.
Originally only available to private clients, fashion consultant Madyha Farooqui expanded her jewelry offering in 2011 after a showcase in Saudi Arabia sold out in just ten days.
Brimming with inventiveness and joie de vivre, New Yorker Farooqui’s designs mesh classic with modern to create pieces that are the epitome of contemporary glamour.
Recently, the NY designer’s chic NoLita cocktail rings have been gaining some serious traction with the international fashion pack, with the designer’s unique ammonite fossil and rose cut diamond earrings featured in our September/October edition.
Speaking about her distinctive style, Farooqui explains: “You might notice that while some of the styles lean more towards architectural and modern, others are more organic. What ties both styles together is that the focus is on the cutting of the stones; highlighting the gemstone is central to my aesthetic.”
A rising international star, Brazilian jewelry designer Emar Batalha is one to watch over the coming years for her idiosyncratic and elegant creations.
Opening her first store in her home country in 1995 and using rare indigenous gemstones combined with a bold aesthetic, Batalha invented the ‘flex’ concept to suit her own jetset life: pieces that unfold into others, multiplying looks and producing different jewelry combinations.
Her recent ultra sophisticated Aphrodite collection is centred around pearls – the symbol of fertility – with this gold maxi ring with pearls and gemstones one of its most thoroughly sumptuous highlights.
Combining classic design and a modern approach, Phillips House is a contemporary jewelry line that continues to go from strength to strength.
The brand was born from humble beginnings when mother and daughter duo Lisa and Danielle Frankel started custom designing jewelry for private clients from a Miami showroom.
Following the 2010 launch of an uber successful capsule collection, the Phillips brand has expanded rapidly and now has a nationwide partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue.
The ring above originates from the Meridian Collection, successfully transferring the classic diamond-surrounded pearl earring aesthetic to a fresh new format.
Born in St Petersburg, Julia Shlovsky was inspired as a child by Fabergé’s intricate creations, which she viewed at the city’s Hermitage Museum.
Now based in New York, the designer describes her collection as a “unique point of view”, which combines past and present influences using a wide array of diamonds – from greys and blues, to pinks, yellows and blacks.
Influenced by the themes and colors of modern art, the focus is most definitely on the diamonds – and what more could you ask for? They are, after all, a girl’s best friend.
Boundlessly creative with inimitable technical skill, Ana Khouri is a force to be reckoned with in the world of contemporary fine jewelry.
Starting out designing from rough stones while still at college, the New York based designer’s work was already being placed in stores in her native Brazil by her senior year.
She officially launched her brand in 2007, quickly making a name through her fluid, elegant pieces featuring unusual structures and eye-catching designs.
The desirability of Khouri’s handcrafted designs is furthered by their exclusivity; when not a unique piece, each takes the form of a numbered edition – all handcrafted by a single artisan from start to finish.