By Ashley Davis
Retrouvaí, the winner of the inaugural The Next Now design competition, aims for a modern heirloom feel. Pictured here is the Magna ring in 14-karat yellow gold with white diamonds ($2,645).
Retrouvaí, the winner of the inaugural The Next Now design competition, aims for a modern heirloom feel. Pictured here is the Magna ring in 14-karat yellow gold with white diamonds ($2,645).

New York--A group of retailers and tastemakers have crowned the winner of the first The Next Now design competition.

Held last week in New York, the competition narrowed down a pool of more than 100 applicants to a group of 70 to present their lines in person to a panel of judges in a round-table setting.

20160830 Next-Now-Winner-INSERTThe judges meet with designer Kirsty Stone, the winner of the inaugural The Next Now competition.
The panel consisted of Joanne Teichman, founder and managing director of Dallas jeweler Ylang23; Alvani Patel, founder and CEO of fashion incubator TrendSeeder; Steven Alan, designer and CEO; Melissa Joy Manning, fine jewelry designer; Burak Cakmak, dean of the Parson’s School of Fashion; and Will Kahn, the fashion market and accessories director at Town & Country.

The panel chose Los Angeles-based fine jewelry label Retrouvaí from designer Kirsty Stone.

Formerly called Supply + Demand Jewelry, the line was renamed this year. Retrouvaí is a take on the French word “retrouvailles,” which means “the joy in reconnecting with someone from your past,” Stone explained.

The name is appropriate for Stone’s classic design aesthetic. Entirely made in L.A., her pieces embody timeless style and possess an heirloom feel, but incorporate a touch of the unexpected. Her signet rings, for example, feature magical creatures like flying pigs and unicorns.

“Retrouvaí is about reinterpreting very classic motifs that have been passed down through generations, and combining these with an attitude that embodies the modern woman,” said Stone. “It incorporates an element of nostalgia with a modern delivery; jewelry that women can wear with everything and have for decades.”

Stone previously worked for an architectural manufacturing firm. She shadowed a high-volume jeweler in the evenings and on weekends for nine months to learn the jewelry business, then launched her own line less than two years ago.

Stone currently works in 14-karat gold, often incorporating diamonds, South Sea pearls and mother- of-pearl in her designs. Her designs range from $600 to $5,000 retail, with the majority of her pieces retailing between $1,000 and $1,500.

Stone’s prize will include a purchase order from Ylang23 and promotion on the store’s e-commerce site, 20 hours of mentorship from Teichman and Manning, a one-year membership to TrendSeeder and a presentation to the Steven Alan buying team.

"The applicant pool was amazing,” said Teichman in a release, “and in addition to the winner, we will be extending a buy to a small, select group.”

“The Next Now was a whirlwind experience,” Stone commented. “I think programs like this are invaluable to emerging talent because feedback and market validation are so critical early on. In a segment that is so saturated, it’s important for us to have a unique voice, and be able to differentiate ourselves very quickly (say five minutes in a boardroom with industry veterans).”

Ylang23 said they expected to hold another edition of The Next Now in 2017.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.