(NEW YORK) – In 2017, the JA New York Show’s popular New Designer Gallery is entering its 40th year. In celebration of this banner year, and due to increased popularity of the New Designer Gallery among designers, retailers and press, JA New York has announced that it will extend the initiative to both the Spring and Summer shows.
What began as an unprecedented vision by its founder, Mort Abelson, has evolved since 1977 as the launch pad for a number of the world’s most highly respected designers, and is said to be the birthplace of the American designer jewelry movement.
“Mort had an idea that was considered radical at the time, and based on this idea, he encouraged those first pioneering designers to leave the comfort of their craft and gift-focused worlds and enter the world of a true fine jewelry environment,” explains Drew Lawsky, Group Show Director of JA New York Shows. “By giving those first designers access to traditional fine jewelry stores, what Mort essentially accomplished was a total transformation of the industry as a whole. These designers placed a premium on creativity and craftsmanship and not just the weight of the materials they used. By launching and nurturing the New Designer Gallery, retailers, and ultimately consumers, started to identify and demand designs with a distinct, individual point of view.”
The first New Designer Gallery showcases came at a time when the zeitgeist could never have conceptualized a jewelry designer becoming a widely-recognized brand. However, that’s exactly what happened with artists like David Yurman, Penny Preville and Barry Kiselstein-Cord, who exhibited in the New Designer Gallery in 1977, 1978 and 1979 respectively. They, along with their fellow exhibitors, turned a world of gold-by-the-weight and stones-by-the-carat into a world of art, feeling and eternity – a world that continues to thrive today. By championing jewelry artists as commercially viable, Mort Abelson broke down barriers for generations of designers to follow.
“Designers accepted into the New Designer Gallery have a very unique opportunity to enter into an established, fine jewelry exhibition,” notes Liz Kantner, an independent consultant that works with the JA New York team to select the section’s designers. “The friendships they develop with their fellow artists, the knowledge that they gain from others in the industry, and the relationships they form with retailers and press are invaluable to the future success of these brands. I am honored and excited to be a part of curating this incredible section of the JA New York Show, and I’m thrilled to be able to showcase this amazing, rising star talent at both the summer and spring shows!”
Just as they have since that first section on the balcony of the Hilton Hotel in 1977, JA New York continues to celebrate designer talent with their New Designer Gallery. Traditionally only held during the Summer show, as an homage to the initiative’s 40-year legacy, the New Designer Gallery will now take place during both the Summer and Spring shows, beginning at the March 2017 event (March 12-14). Open to any designer who has not yet exhibited in a fine jewelry show, JA New York provides participating designers with additional promotional opportunities and ongoing support throughout the show and beyond.
For more information about the New Designer Gallery, contact Michelle Orman at 646-302-5521 or via e-mail at michelle@LastWordComm.com. To submit an application to exhibit in the New Designer Gallery, contact Liz Kantner at elizabeth.Kantner@gmail.com.