Editors

20 Designers to Watch in 2020 and Beyond: The New Classics

EditorsJan 17, 2020

20 Designers to Watch in 2020 and Beyond: The New Classics

These four designers have perfected everyday fine jewelry staples.

Bracelet by Jemma Wynne

In the first two installments of my 20 Designers to Watch in 2020 and Beyond series, I recognized brands that will influence the next decade of jewelry design with their singular contributions to colorful jewelry and bridal styles.

Part III focuses on designers making an impact in the realm of everyday fine jewelry staples.

They’re brands that bring an elegant, artistic flair to classic styles that women will revisit again and again in their jewelry boxes, taking them from day to evening.

The New Classics: Foundrae, Jemma Wynne, Lizzie Mandler, Melissa Kaye

Foundrae
Designer: Beth Bugdaycay
Founded: 2015
Based In: New York
Key Retailers: Net-a-Porter, Ylang 23, Hirshleifers, Browns

Foundrae’s launch caused an instant stir among jewelry editors with its unusually distinctive and well-executed voice, which was so well-formed that it’s hardly deviated from its core design principles since.

The fine jewelry line from Beth Bugdaycay made a case for hefty, totem-like stalwarts, putting its own spin on cigar bands and medallions.

It also tapped into the power of symbols, referencing ancient, and occasionally modern, emblems and educating its customer base on their meanings, imbuing each piece with a distinct set of values.

No other brand in recent memory has so deftly honed in on the best qualities of jewelry past—both stylistically and sentimentally—and brought it into the future, particularly via its sexy cache of handmade chains.

Jemma Wynne
Designers: Jenny Klatt and Stephanie Wynne Lalin
Founded: 2008
Based In: New York
Key Retailers: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Net-a-Porter, Twist

Jemma Wynne, from design duo Jenny Klatt and Stephanie Wynne Lalin, knows how to make a hit.

The brand hones in on certain ultra-flattering styles, pieces one gets the feeling they originally created for themselves, and perfects them, creating an identifiable artistic signature in the process.

This is exemplified in styles like their “Open Rings,” or adjustable, graduated stone “Slider” bracelets, meticulous updates to the classic moi et toi rings and the diamond tennis bracelet, made ultra-contemporary in clean, strong settings.

The Jemma Wynne aesthetic is unabashedly feminine. It’s one of the brands that can be credited with ushering in the current wave of modern pearl jewelry.      

Lizzie Mandler
Founded: 2012
Based In: Los Angeles
Key Retailers: Dover Street Market, Bergdorfs, Twist, Browns, Matches

Lizzie Mandler applies a laser-like focus and precision to jewelry essentials, crafting the ideal version of a simple gold band or chain link.

She applies the

same approach to the harmony of her overall collection, delivering a highly edited arsenal of classic go-tos, from hoops to stud earrings to ID bracelets.

A master in subtle dimension and proportion, Mandler’s aesthetic has a unisex feel, veering away from the overwrought or fussy to instead present pieces with a universal appeal.

Her signatures are a knife-edge, an element which provides interest and depth to even the most seemingly simple piece, and the universally flattering combination of black and white diamonds.

Based on unshowy classicism, Mandler’s slow-burning career is built to last, with pieces women and men want to live in. 

Melissa Kaye
Founded: 2013
Based In: New York
Key Retailers: Saks Fifth Avenue, Elyse Walker, Net-a-Porter, D.C. Johnson

“Melissa Kaye’s jewelry is the definition of the term ‘new classic,’” said Elyse Walker’s CMO and Jewelry and Art Buyer Alexandra Lippin.

“Her everyday-wear designs in solid gold are timeless, and layering them with her neon pink, orange, and yellow enamel provides a whole new fun update.”

Kaye’s ability to incorporate the trendy and novel—as in her raved-about neon enamel collection launched last year—into her perpetually appealing eponymous line gives her customers new elements to get excited about.  

D.C. Johnson Ltd. owner David Johnson agreed, saying, “Her addition of neon last year was genius. To be able to add that type of detail while maintaining simplicity makes her one to watch.”

It is Kaye’s becoming stable of gold and diamond pieces, however, that will continue to excite women over the next decade, regardless of trend updates.

 “Melissa’s ability to reimagine classic pieces without overdesigning makes her such a force,” Johnson said. “The bold, timeless look she creates comes from being able to keep it simple.”

That simplicity is achieved through an excellence sense of scale, with graduated diamonds creating flattering, curving lines.

Kaye also incorporates some kind of unexpected edge into every piece, making each feel thoroughly modern and dynamic.

Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

IndependentsMay 17, 2021
Take a Peek Inside the New Zadok Jewelers Store

The Houston jeweler recently opened a 28,000-square-foot, two-level store.

IndependentsMay 17, 2021
Bill Boyajian Has a New Book Coming Out

“Family Business Succession Planning” covers the dynamics of working in a multigenerational business and prepping for the next generation.

MajorsMay 17, 2021
Pandora’s Head of North America Steps Down

Sid Keswani has left the jewelry company to become president of lifestyle company Centric Brands.

Brought to you by
How to Engage and Sell to Millennials

Millennials were once feared in the diamond industry, but now this younger generation has become today’s largest diamond buying demographic.

TechnologyMay 17, 2021
JCK Launches Online B2B Jewelry Marketplace

“Jewelers Source by JCK” will help qualified buyers find new clients and conduct virtual meetings all year round.

Weekly QuizMay 14, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of May 10-14, 2021.
Take the Quiz
MajorsMay 17, 2021
Borsheims Promotes 3 on Sales Management Team

It shows the Nebraska jeweler’s new cross-department emphasis.

Policies & IssuesMay 14, 2021
Petra Reaches $6M Settlement Amid Claims of Human Rights Abuses

A report by a nonprofit documented an alleged seven deaths and 41 assaults on artisanal miners at the Williamson mine in Tanzania.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

AuctionsMay 14, 2021
Phillips’ New Selling Exhibition Celebrates Female Designers

It features pieces from the likes of Solange Azagury-Partridge, Suzanne Belperron, Marina B, and Silvia Furmanovich.

×