By Ashley Davis
Pictured here are designs from Eva Noga, winner of the third edition of TheNextNow, on display at Brand Assembly in New York during the competition.
New York--Only a year after Dallas retailer Ylang 23 and fashion incubator TrendSeeder inaugurated TheNextNow, a design competition for emerging jewelry designers, they’ve selected the biannual event’s third winner.

Eva Noga clinched the top honors from a pool of 30 finalists selected to showcase their work to a group of judges in Manhattan last week.

The designer’s eponymous Queens, New York-based brand was only founded this year, with its first collection being finished a month ago.

“Eva had previously designed costume jewelry, so it’s especially impressive that her first fine collection is this beautiful, given how hard it is to transition from costume to fine,” said Ylang 23 Vice President, Business Development Alysa Teichman. “I’m excited that Ylang 23 will be the first retailer to launch the collection.”

Noga’s costume jewelry label, called Eva Hanusova, was sold in stores like Anthropologie and Free People. The designer’s new fine line is made in 14-karat gold and precious and semi-precious gemstones and is inspired by what she says is her greatest passion after jewelry--gardening.

“I really have a true passion for anything botanical, which has inspired my collection,” Noga explained. “(It’s) filled with diamond-accented beetles, spiders and otherworldly critters.”

20170824 NextNow insert1Eva Noga’s Hestia Earrings in 14-karat yellow gold with tourmaline, Herkimer diamonds and baguette diamonds ($918) 
Noga’s take on insects and flowers caught the attention of the judges who made up this edition’s panel. Joanne Teichman, founder of Ylang 23, and TrendSeeder’s Avani Patel were joined by Bergdorf Goodman jewelry buyer Kelly Doherty, Elle magazine Senior Accessories Editor Jennifer Gach, designers Sharon Khazzam and Wing Yau of Wwake and co-founder of fine jewelry sales and press agency For Future Reference, Meaghan Flynn Petropoulous.

“Eva Noga is a standout for both design and salability,” said Alysa Teichman, who organizes TheNextNow. “The bug series, which resonated most with the judges, is inspired by nature and features irregularly shaped stones in the juiciest, most vibrant colors.”

After judging the 30 finalists’ work and before announcing the winner of TheNextNow, Teichman moderated a panel with the competition judges, in which they discussed the challenges of the jewelry design market today and answered questions from the audience, which included designers who weren’t selected as finalists but wished to view the competition process.

20170824 NextNow headerFrom left to right: TrendSeeder founder Avani Patel, Elle magazine Senior Accessories Editor Jennifer Gach, designers Sharon Khazzam and Wing Yau of Wwake, winner of the third edition of The Next Now Eva Noga, For Future Reference co-founder Meaghan Flynn Petropoulous, Bergdorf Goodman fine jewelry buyer Kelly Doherty, Ylang 23 founder Joanne Teichman and the company’s Vice President, Business Development, Alysa Teichman
Designers Khazzam and Yau then announced Noga as the winner. Her prize includes an online presentation, presence and promotion on Ylang 23’s website with possibility of a purchase order, a one-year mentorship with TrendSeeder, a presentation and meeting with the Bergdorf Goodman jewelry buying team, a showcase and presentation to retailers with For Future Reference at Paris Fashion Week and mentorship from some of the judges.

“It was such a treat for me to meet so many amazing women in this industry who all do what they love every day and really do create some of the most beautiful jewelry I’ve ever seen,” Noga said of the experience.

“I'm thrilled to be able to launch my collection with Ylang 23. They have been so supportive and helpful already, it’s like a dream come true to call them my first retail partner.”

For more information on TheNextNow, visit the competition’s website.

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