Every year the Couture in Las Vegas stops with bated breath: who is the winners of the Couture Design Awards? The award ceremony, which this year was decided by a jury composed of Nikos Koulis, Juliet de La Rouchefoucauld, Tanika Winsdom, Diana Schade and Stellene Volandes, is one of the highlights of the event in the capital of Nevada. All the pieces participating in the design competition are exhibited days in advance and everyone wonders who, in the end, will be awarded.
The winners, at the end, are announced during the celebration of the Couture Design Awards on Saturday night. In addition to those indicated by the jury, the community of retailers votes for the three finalists of the Peoples’ Choice Award via SMS. Among the winners, this year there are also two Italian jewelers: Gismondi 1754 and Mariani 1878: both with roots that sink into history, in short.
Best in Diamonds above $ 20,000: Gismondi 1754
Gismondi 1754 was awarded the prize, collected by Massimo Gismondi, creative director and CEO, for his necklace, Raggio di Sole, a unique piece inspired by the early morning sun. The Italian Maison was also a finalist for the People’s Choice Award. Gismondi had already won the Couture Award in 2019 for his necklace from the Essenza Collection from which the earring was also born. The Raggio di Sole series required over 600 hours of work for six months. It is composed of 27.83 carats of pear-cut white diamonds and 16.04 carats of fancy yellow diamonds.The jewel, together with the bracelet and earrings, were completed shortly before Couture. The ring will complete the collection. Raggio di Sole was inspired, in 2020 during the lockdown, one early morning in a chalet in Valtournenche (Alps, Italy) in front of a coffee while the sun rose behind the mountain top. The necklace is his interpretation of the first rays that create a crown behind the mountain as it began to light up the sky.
Best in Diamonds Under $ 20K: Mariani 1878
Mariani has a history that starts from the founder, Camillo Mariani, silversmith and jeweler who from objects for worship has turned into a jeweler known for his innovative ability, as well as for the elegance of his proposals. At the Couture Design Awards he wore a necklace dotted with delicate pear and round cut diamonds. Mariani is also a subscriber to the Las Vegas prize: he has already won in 2017 and last year: a very popular replay.
Best in gold: Illeana Makri
The Greek designer has chosen an elaborate simplicity, for a bracelet with geometries reminiscent of the ancient friezes of temples, but without easy symbolism. The gold bracelet is closed by a small diamond.
Best in bridal: Kavant & Sharart
Husband and wife are the soul of Kavant & Sharart: ideal for winning the Best in Bridal award. The winning jewels, in white gold and diamonds, recall both Art Deco and oriental culture.The two have already won the Couture in the Best in Debuting category in 2016.
Best in pearls: Mateo
Matthew Harris, designer of Mateo, was born in Jamaica, raised in Texas, but is based in New York. His jewels can only be original. He started working creating men’s jewelry, but at Couture he proposed elegant feminine earrings.
Best in silver: Vincent Peach
Vincent Peach works in Nashville, the home of country music. But he is inspired by the pleasures that life offers and travel, often with jewelry made of different materials, such as leather, diamonds, pearls and, of course, silver.
Best in Innovative + People’s Choice Award: Silvia Furmanovich
Brazil is a hotbed of sophisticated and precious creativity. One of these is the Sao Paolo designer Silvia Furmanovich, who comes from a family of Italian goldsmiths: her great-grandfather worked for the Vatican. Silvia Furmanovich’s ability to use different materials has made her famous. As for the yellow gold, ruby and bamboo earrings that won the Couture Design Award.
Best in Haute Couture: Elsa Jin
Chinese designer Elsa Jin amazed everyone with a brooch that comes straight from the Cannes red carpet in the shape of wings. It is a surprising sculpture for its shape and made even more precious by the emerald set in the center.
Best in Colored Gems Above $ 20K: Emily P. Wheeler
The American designer previewed her new collection, inspired by her newborn daughter, Bernadette. A necklace with many emerald-cut aquamarines, which form a modern and luxurious choker.
Best in Colored Gems Under $ 20K: Sutra Jewels
The Texas-based Maison with roots in India is famous for its ability to juxtapose gems in mesmerizing mosaics. At Couture she wore earrings with white diamonds and pink sapphires.
Best in platinum: Retrouvai
The Los Angeles-based Maison led by Kristy Stone uses proven techniques to make modern jewelry. The result is a simple, contemporary necklace of sober elegance.
Best in Men’s: Barbara Heinrich Studio
Barbara Heinrich, who works in Rochester, New York, started out as an artist and later launched into jewelry. Her necklace with her locket, actually, a woman would gladly wear too.
Best in Debuting: Marie Lichtenberg
Marie designed her first barrel pendant in India, a country that fascinated her as much for the richness of its colors as for its spiritual life and centuries-old tradition of jewelry. This journey transformed her, giving birth to the idea that she would become the Maison Marie Lichtenberg.