By Lenore Fedow
Through Aug. 4, Zales is accepting applications from emerging jewelry designers for a spot in its upcoming online marketplace.
New York—Zales is on the lookout for up-and-coming jewelry designers to add to a new, soon-to-launch online marketplace.

The Signet Jewelers-owned brand is accepting applications for the Designer Spotlight program through Aug. 4.

The program will leverage Zales’ e-commerce platform to showcase the work of emerging designers, featuring their pieces for the fall/winter 2020 season, starting in mid-September.

“The pandemic is challenging all businesses—especially emerging fine jewelry designers with incredible talent,” said Jamie Singleton, president of Zales, Kay Jewelers and Peoples, in a press release announcing the program.

“With our Designer Spotlight program, we want to give them an opportunity to grow their business using our successful digital platform as their launching pad.”

The company is looking to bolster small businesses as well as minority and BIPOC-owned—Black, indigenous, and people of color—businesses.

Earlier this month, a group of 29 BIPOC designers wrote an open letter to the jewelry industry calling for more support and education, and demanding racial equity.

The Designer Spotlight program was in the works before the letter was published, a Zales spokesperson told National Jeweler, but executives at Zales have read it and the retailer “stands on the side of inclusivity, equality and love.”

The eligibility requirements ask that designers handle their own manufacturing, with a lead time of 10 weeks or less, as well as their own packaging and shipping.

They will also need to provide provenance for their precious metals, gemstones and diamonds, and verify manufacturers or producers.

Zales has reached out to partners at GLAAD, the NAACP, FIT, the Accessories Council and others to help choose candidates, the spokesperson said.

The company said it may make this an ongoing program, rotating through different series of designers.

Applicants can submit their portfolio of original designs via the Zales website.

More information on the Designer Spotlight Program is available on

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