Loriann Jewelry Nabs New Designer of the Year Honors

TrendsAug 10, 2017

Loriann Jewelry Nabs New Designer of the Year Honors

Helmed by Connecticut-based Lori Friedman, the line is designed to be casual and colorful.

The work of Spanish artist Joan Miró inspired this one-off pendant from Loriann Jewels’ “Organique” collection. It features, from bottom to top, a custom-cut amethyst, Ethiopian opal and fire opal in a 14-karat rose gold setting on a 14-karat rose gold chain ($2,500 retail).

New York--Loriann Jewelry, the namesake brand of Connecticut-based Lori Ann Friedman, has been named the Mort Abelson New Designer of the Year.

Now in its 40th year, the award is given out annually at the summer JA New York show to one of the exhibitors showing in the New Designer Gallery. Votes cast by retailers, editors and past gallery participants determine the winner.

The award is named for the late Mort Abelson, the former director of the show who conceived of a space for emerging artists only. Designers who exhibited in the gallery when they were new include David Yurman, Katy Brunini, Alex Sepkus and Paula Crevoshay.

The most recent winners of the Mort Abelson award were Alexis Kletjian (2016) and Jocelyn Prestia, whose brand is called Unhada (2015).

Friedman, whose first career was as a graphic designer and art director for an engineering company, said she started in jewelry about 15 years ago, collecting gemstones and then taking a class on jewelry-making in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Her ultimate goal, at first, was to get into Mitchell Stores, a still-family-owned retailer that’s been in business since 1958 in Westport, Connecticut, where Friedman lives. (Second-generation owner Jack Mitchell is the author of the business bestseller “Hug Your Customers.”)

Friedman said she achieved that goal but, now, is taking her line a step further by using the same organic-looking gemstones but graduating from her primarily silver “Water & Ice” collection to her first collection completely in gold--14 karat--with diamond pave and rubies.

She designs the pieces then has them made, some overseas and some in New York.

Friedman said her ultimate goal in designing is not to follow a trend but to mirror people’s lifestyle today, which tends to be more casual.

“I wanted a line that people can wear every day,” she told National Jeweler at the show shortly after accepting the award.

In addition to designing jewelry, Friedman also paints watercolors--which she said taught her to be more experimental with color--and she mixes the two mediums on her company’s Instagram account and Facebook page.

For more information, email
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

WatchesJan 24, 2022
These Were the Top 5 Watch Brands of 2021 on Chrono24

Two of the brands in the top slots may come as a surprise.

SourcingJan 24, 2022
How One Collaboration Is Trying to Bring More American Gems to Museums

“American Gemstones” wants to raise appreciation of the stones, and those who mine and cut them, even more.

TechnologyJan 24, 2022
Reshyne Aims to Put Modern Shine on Jewelry Repairs

The platform helps jewelers manage and track repairs via their website and allows customers to place orders online.

Brought to you by
Swarovski Created Diamonds – A Brilliant Partnership

A tantalizingly beautiful and carbon-neutral choice, Swarovski Created Diamonds are an extension of the beloved brand’s personality and value.

MajorsJan 24, 2022
Kendall Jenner Fronts the Latest Messika Campaign

It portrays a modern “alpha female.”

Weekly QuizJan 21, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
CollectionsJan 21, 2022
Piece of the Week: Emily P. Wheeler’s Heart Necklace

It’s a whimsical update to a classic riviere.

SourcingJan 21, 2022
Stephen Lussier to Retire After 37 Years With De Beers

Tiffany executive Mark Jacheet will succeed Lussier, who officially steps down in April.

Brought to you by
Melee the Show Launches Tucson Event, Returns to New York in 2022

The boutique tradeshow, happening first in Tucson then New York City, brings together upscale designers from around the world.

Recorded WebinarsJan 21, 2022
Watch: What the Industry Can Expect for Tucson 2022

National Jeweler chats with three colored stone dealers on recent buying activity and what that could mean for the upcoming gem shows.