By Lenore Fedow
Award-winner Linda Hoj (middle) with designer Theresa Kaz (right), who exhibited in the New Designer Gallery last year, and New Designer Gallery curator Liz Kantner.
New York—JA New York crowned jeweler Linda Hoj as the 2019 Mort Abelson New Designer of the Year at its spring trade show Monday.

The Connecticut-based Hoj’s collection blends modernity and ancient techniques, with each piece showcasing her finely-honed metalwork skills and knowledge of old-world jewelry.

20190313 Linda Hoj insert image croppedLinda Hoj was one of seven designers to make her trade show debut at the JA New York Spring show, which wrapped up Tuesday at the Javits Center.Many pieces in the collection are crafted in 22-karat gold, which Hoj said she prefers not only for aesthetic purposes, but also because the high-karat gold only gets better with time, bearing “the hallmarks and glow of everyday wear.”

Hoj takes her inspiration from modern life as much as from ancient times.

When her daughter returned home with a sword tattoo, the designer put aside her parental frustration and took the time to understand the symbolism behind it, growing to appreciate the strength it represented and the idea of cutting ties with the things that can hold a person down.

The result was her Armor collection, which features sword necklaces (see below) in a variety of metals and sizes topped with rubies and diamonds.

“This is amazing. This is beyond amazing. Thank you all for everything. You’ve all been so supportive and I appreciate you so much,” Hoj said as she accepted the Mort Abelson award at the Javits Center Monday.

The award was presented by designer Theresa Kaz, who debuted her namesake collection in the New Designer Gallery last year, noting that it was “the best thing” she has ever done for her business.

“She’s presenting the Mort Abelson award because she is an incredible example of what this platform can do for emerging designers. In the past 12 months, Theresa has grown her business and opened new retail accounts,” said gallery curator Liz Kantner.

Hoj and seven other emerging designers made their jewelry trade show debuts in the New Designer Gallery at JA New York Spring, which was held Sunday to Tuesday at the Javits Center in Manhattan.

The other exhibitors in the New Designer Gallery were: Aimee Petkus, Julie Lamb, M.Hisae, Olivia B., Original Eve, Ravit Kaplan and S. Tree.

The section, introduced by former trade show director Mort Abelson in 1977, has been a springboard for well-known brands including David Yurman and Lagos.

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