Connect with us

Press Releases

2019 COUTURE Design Awards was a Celebration of Design and Community

Finalists and winners in each of the 15 categories were chosen for their superior craftsmanship and elevated design.




(PRESS RELEASE) LAS VEGAS — The COUTURE Design Awards event was a celebration of passion and creativity. All of the pieces selected as finalists and winners in each of the 15 categories were chosen for their superior craftsmanship and elevated design. The panel of judges, which included Amy Lane from Bergdorf Goodman, Liza Urla of Gemologue, journalist Tanya Dukes, Tayloe Piggott from Tayloe Piggott Gallery, and artist Todd Reed, deliberated for hours before finalizing their choices, bringing a level of thoughtfulness and gravitas to the decision-making process.

“We are here to celebrate the incredible designs of this amazing community,” noted COUTURE Show Director and SVP of Emerald Expositions, Gannon Brousseau, from the stage. “Whether we’re in the Encore Ballroom, or back in the Encore Theater, nothing could dim the bright lights shining here tonight!”

Video: Gene the Jeweler Talks About the Challenges of Family Life
Gene the Jeweler

Video: Gene the Jeweler Talks About the Challenges of Family Life

Video: Chicago Jeweler Calls on Mayor to Get Tough on Crime

Video: Chicago Jeweler Calls on Mayor to Get Tough on Crime

Video: Gene the Jeweler Sees a Psychiatrist
Gene the Jeweler

Video: Gene the Jeweler Sees a Psychiatrist

Capturing the spirit of the community was Jade Lustig of Jade Trau, who won the Design Award in the Best in Bridal category, “One Sunday night, my son was complaining to me and said that ‘Monday is the worst day.’ I said, ‘You’re crazy! Monday is the best day!’ I love Mondays. I love waking up and going to work, it doesn’t even feel like work. I love what I do, and I thank you for acknowledging it.”

Several of the designers who won recognized the intensity of work involved in creating their design award submissions, and thanked those in their lives who gave them the support to continue to grow their collections. “Thank you so much,” effused Adam Foster when accepting his award for Best in Colored Gemstones Above $20,000. “I’d like to thank my wife, Alice, for not leaving me, my business partners for standing next to me, and my agent, Beth Anne, for not killing me.”

COUTURE also announced the introduction of a new initiative of providing the winner of the Best in Debuting category, which is only open to those designers who are exhibiting at COUTURE for the first time, with a $10,000 grant towards their COUTURE expenses the following year. “I think this is an incredible way for COUTURE to showcase their support for artists, and continue to carry on my mom’s legacy,” enthused Cindy Edelstein’s daughter, Remy Sasha, before presenting the Best in Debuting category to Ara Vartanian.

Prior to the awards presentation, Gannon Brousseau presented the inaugural WTF?! Award to designer Stephen Webster for the “design disaster” that he submitted to the competition. The name of the winner of the WTF?! competition will be engraved on the medallion each year and passed down to the recipient the following year.


The Cindy Edelstein Award was presented to Michelle Orman, who was acknowledged for her hard work and commitment to the industry at large, and specifically the COUTURE community.

Best in Bridal
Winner: Jade Trau
First Runner Up: TAP by Todd Pownell
Second Runner Up: Polly Wales

Best in Colored Gemstones Above $20,000
Winner: Adam Foster
First Runner Up: Antonini
Second Runner Up: VRAM

Best in Colored Gemstones Below $20,000
Winner: Noor Fares
First Runner Up: Stephen Webster
Second Runner Up: Alice Cicolini

Best in Diamonds Above $20,000
Winner: kataoka jewelry and objets d’art
First Runner Up: Gem Platinum
Second Runner Up: Hearts On Fire

Best in Diamonds Below $20,000
Winner: Baentelli
First Runner Up: Swati Dhanak
Second Runner Up: ANDY LIF Jewelry


Best in Gold
Winner: Nikos Koulis
First Runner Up: Bibi van der Velden
Second Runner Up: Isabella Fa

Best in Haute Couture
Winner: Mike Joseph
First Runner Up: Selim Mouzannar
Second Runner Up: Giovanni Ferraris

Best in Innovative
Winner: Silvia Furmanovich
First Runner Up: Federica Rettore
Second Runner Up: Graziela

Best in Men’s
Winner: Jan Leslie
First Runner Up: Shamballa
Second Runner Up: Victor Mayer

Best in Pearls
Winner: Karen Suen
First Runner Up: Assael
Second Runner Up: Moksh

Best in Platinum
Winner: Jorg Heinz
First Runner Up: Schaffrath
Second Runner Up: BQ Jewelry


Best in Silver
Winner: SYNA
First Runner Up: Nancy Newberg
Second Runner Up: John Hardy

Best in Debuting at COUTURE
Winner: Ara Vartanian
First Runner Up: Ananya
Second Runner Up: Lotus Arts de Vivre



Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

Promoted Headlines






INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler
with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips.
(Mailed 5x per week.)


Latest Comments

Most Popular