An innovative ear piece from Belgium-based designer Kim Mee Hye
An innovative ear piece from Belgium-based designer Kim Mee Hye
New York--As a whole, jewelry design is currently experiencing a golden era of ingenuity and creativity, heralding a moment in which independent designers, rather than design houses, are shaping trends and consumer attitudes towards fine jewelry.

With such an abundance of talent in the market, delineating a limited number of designers to watch in the coming year was no easy task.

Nonetheless, National Jeweler will be keeping an eye on the following seven emerging designers and what they have to offer retailers in 2017.

20170103 7Designers cadar
Cadar made a bold entrance into the jewelry arena in 2016, winning the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award for Jewelry Design, exhibiting at the Couture Show, and landing on Bergdorf Goodman’s shelves. It might be hard to top all of that in the year ahead but if anyone is up to the challenge, it’s designer Michal Kadar, whose fashion industry know-how (she previously worked as a fashion designer and owned a fashion boutique in Tel Aviv), has served her well so far.

20170103 7Designers KMH
Kim Mee Hye
Kim Mee Hye is the Belgium-based designer who has gained serious attention for her unique designs. She’s one of a handful of talents (think Ana Khouri and Shihara) who are challenging the way jewelry traditionally has been worn. Most recently, Mee Hye created a collection of jewelry meant to function as an extension of the body, adding another layer available for adornment. In an industry where everything old becomes new again, Mee Hye’s work signals something elementally original. We can’t wait to see what Mee Hye does next.

20170103 7Designers magdalena
Magdalena Frackowiak
Years in front of a camera do not a successful jewelry line make. But in a measly year-and-a-half, Magdalena Frackowiak has exhibited two jewelry collections that shine not because of, but in spite of, her fashion industry fame as a supermodel. The Polish designer, who manufactures her line in her home country, is able to tap into current trends, like the ubiquitous choker, without sacrificing maturity, elegance and restraint. We expect Frackowiak to gain several additional stateside retail accounts in 2017.

20170103 7Designers azlee
Designer Baylee Zwart of Azlee is at a sweet spot in her early career where she’s gained coveted retail accounts (such as Dover Street Market in New York, Archives in Toronto and Maison de Mode online), and a smattering of great consumer press placements all while honing and strengthening her design aesthetic with nary a misstep. Zwart is a young designer, but one with a self-assuredness and taste level far beyond her years. Thus far, she’s had the wisdom to focus on her bold, geometric approach to design rather than bending to the current of fashion.

20170103 7Designers ioanna
Ioanna Souflia
Out of the bewildering abundance of noteworthy names in Greek design, Ioanna Souflia is the newest brand to grab our attention, proving that the only predictable commonality among her and her national cohort is their ability to reimagine their heritage in innovative ways. Souflia’s marriage of marble and Deco-inspired motifs was a highlight of 2016, expanding traditional notions of which materials categorize fine jewelry.

20170103 7Designers lm
Lizzie Mandler
Lizzie Mandler’s refined designs are wearable enough to integrate seamlessly into a diverse range of personal wardrobes (or red carpet looks) while still exhibiting a signature that is instantly recognizable as the designer’s own. Mandler’s work is simultaneously youthful and timeless, emanating a handmade quality, which is a recipe for millennial appeal. Mandler produces her line in Los Angeles’ burgeoning jewelry district, which has become a mecca for the best American design happening now.

20170103 7Designers retrouvaiRetrouvaí
Speaking of L.A., Kirsty Stone’s fledgling line underwent a rebrand this year and the timing couldn’t have been better. Shortly after re-launching her business under the moniker Retrouvaí, Stone won Ylang 23’s The Next Now competition, and has since popped up in a variety of well-regarded stores. The Ylang 23 competition has also seemed to spark a creative rebirth for Stone; her classic, antique-inspired offerings are ever-expanding, and she often teases her in-progress pieces on her Instagram account.

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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.