Countdown to IJL 2017: What’s New at Olympia This Year?

IJL 2017 is set to inspire the industry this September over three vibrant days, with new show features and a superb showcase of over 500 companies from 32 countries, including a host of innovative debut designers and brands.

New show experiences include the newly themed seminar theatres, workshops and dedicated Skills Lab; a glimpse into the future in the Retail Experience Area; the new Watch Lounge; and Jewellery LIVE!, showcasing craftsmanship and technology at its best. Other ‘not to be missed’ highlights include the Trends Catwalk, previewing trends set to hit the High Street this Christmas and in Spring 2018, and a pool of cutting-edge new design talent from this year’s Bright Young Gems and KickStarters.

New Highlights for IJL 2017

New sights for 2017 include Jewellery LIVE!, which will offer a ‘behind the scenes’ showcase of craftsmanship and technology – from the bench to the powerful new techniques supporting creative ideas; from initial inspiration to beautifully finished pieces. The new Retail Experience Area is designed to help retailers explore new opportunities to develop the full in-store experience, to increase footfall and compete with online.

Companies such as The Aroma Company, 4D Projects, Innovare and Kesslers International will be on-hand to offer the most up-to-date advice on enhancing the in-store offer and providing a memorable interactive jewellery buying experience for customers.

Education Redefined

Alongside an encouraging line up of headline seminar speakers in the Inspiration Theatre, with industry luminaries like Stephen Webster, the new DIGIfest Theatre will feature a not-to-be missed social media programme. This will be headed up by Warren Knight, one of the top 100 Global Influencers and IJL’s Chief Social Media Editor, together with an array of high profile bloggers – outlining the fundamentals of social media, as well as more advanced sessions for the digital savvy.

The new Academy will feature knowledge forums with educational and business experts, and the new Skills Lab, sponsored by the NAJ, will offer visitors the best advice on important industry issues, such as security and workplace pensions. And last but not least is the special new Fair Luxury mini conference with thought-provoking topics and speakers on the last day of the show.

Trend Insight

Discovering new trends and looks to meet customer demand is at the heart of IJL and the thrice daily Trends Catwalk will feature the Spring/Summer 2018 jewellery trends, as well as the trends which will be so important for retailers this coming Christmas. Chosen by the new Trend Editor, Rachael Taylor – a freelance journalist specialising in jewellery – the trends are Chase the Rainbow, The Artisan, The Next Frontier, True Romance and Bridal – High Spirits.

Stars of the Future

Every year two groups of up and coming new young designers capture the interest of visitors looking for imaginative new designs and creativity. The Bright Young Gems are five graduating (or recently graduated) jewellery design students, selected by an eminent panel of consumer media experts, together with the British luxury fine jewellery designer, Shaun Leane. All follow in the successful footsteps of previous Bright Young Gems, including Pippa Small, Tomasz Donocik, Daisy Knights, Imogen Belfield and Fernando Jorge.

The Bright Young Gems are joined by the 2017 IJL KickStarters – flourishing new UK designers looking to take their business to the next stage. This annual mentoring programme is recognised as one of the most supportive programmes for new talent and provides invaluable marketing expertise thanks to IJL and the National Association of Jewellers.

The 10 preferred IJL KickStarters this year are: Claire Macfarlane Jewellery, Emily Kidson, Muscari Jewellery, Becky Dockree Jewellery, Raliegh Goss, Lucy Spink Jewellery, Heather Woof Jewellery, Rhona McCallum Jewellery, Alice Barnes and Oddical. Previous famous KickStarters include Imogen Belfield, Clarice Price Thomas, Claire English and Kristjan Eyjolfsson, to name but a few.

Winning Designs

The very successful and popular Editors’ Choice Awards celebrates some of the most unique and commercial jewellery collections and signature pieces on show at IJL. Now in its ninth year, a new format together with new categories has been introduced, reflecting the breadth of talent across all sectors at the show. Three category award winners have already been announced – Technical Trailblazer (The Rock Hound for their Chromanteq Bombe Rings), Creative Originality (Isabella Liu for her Sea Rhymes collection) and Commercial Mastermind (Franco Florenzi for their Bow and Arrow bracelets).

A further four new categories, the IJL Show Awards, will be judged at the show by an extended panel of key industry media. These categories will cover Designer to Watch, Show Stopper, Visual Excellence and the highly anticipated IJL Exhibitor of the Year.

International and UK Showcase

IJL dazzle jewellery and watch companies from each segment – from fine jewellery and designer brands to fashion-led sterling silver jewellery and loose gemstones.

The international line-up this year includes an array of new and cutting-edge companies making their debut from Europe, including Bloch & Co. from Belgium, Les Georgettes from France, MoM of Sweden, Maria Dorai Raj from Ireland and Leonori and Maori from Italy. From Africa and the Middle East, brands include celebrity designer Penny Winter from Nairobi, Cara Jewellers and Kaina from Dubai, Elham & Issa Jewellery from Jordan, and UAB Koliz Vostok from Lithuania. All of them will be starring alongside acclaimed brands such as Bronzallure and Sif Jakobs.

From the UK, first-time high profile exhibitors like Kiki Carnegie, Dog Fever and Lucinda King will be showcasing their jewellery alongside such valued returning companies as Astley Clarke, Asteria Diamonds, Gecko, Yoko London and Continental Jewellery, jointly with chief established brands like Charles Green, Domino and Gemex.

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