Events & Awards

These Are the Winners of the 2022 Couture Design Awards

Events & AwardsJun 14, 2022

These Are the Winners of the 2022 Couture Design Awards

Held Saturday night in Las Vegas, the annual event honors the best creations across 15 categories.

Designer Emily P. Wheeler won the 2022 Couture Design Award in the Colored Gemstones Above $20,000 category for her “Audrey” choker. The 18-karat yellow gold piece features 111.31 carats of aquamarine, 101.12 carats of crystal quartz, and 5.84 carats of diamonds (price available upon request).
Las Vegas—The 2022 Couture Design Awards began with show director Gannon Brousseau paying tribute to two beloved individuals the industry lost unexpectedly in the last year—Alex Sepkus and Steven Kaiser. 

Sepkus, a longtime Couture designer described by one retailer as a “brilliant talent,” died in September 2021 from a sudden complication related to lymphoma.

Kaiser was a watch industry veteran who consulted for Couture and served as a friend and mentor to many in the industry. He died unexpectedly on May 20.

Brousseau also welcomed a group of newcomers to the show this year—the 13 BIPOC designers who comprise The Radiance by Couture, a product of the inaugural mentorship program of Couture’s Diversity Action Council and De Beers Group. 

After the introductions, it was time for the awards, starting with Best in Colored Gemstones Under $20,000, which went to Sutra for its pink sapphire and diamond earrings. 
Independent designer Emily P. Wheeler took home the Couture Design Award for Best in Colored Gemstones Above $20,000 for her 18-karat yellow gold “Audrey” choker with aquamarines, crystal quartz, and diamonds.  
Kavant & Sharart won the 2022 Couture Design Award for Best in Bridal for their innovative diamond ring, which also received the show’s Instagram Choice Award. 
Nashville, Tennessee-based designer Vincent Peach took home the Best in Silver award for his diamond-set silver necklace.
Silvia Furmanovich won two awards for the earrings seen below: Best in Innovative as well as the People’s Choice Award, which audience members voted on during the awards ceremony. 

Women weavers in Uzbekistan created the tiny tapestries, which the Brazilian designer set in 18-karat gold with diamonds, tanzanites, and rubellites.  
For Future Reference had three nominees in the Couture Design Awards this year—Kirsty Stone, the designer behind Retrouvai; Matthew Harris of Mateo New York; and Catherine Sarr, the creator of Almasika Fine Jewellery.

The brand development agency came away with two winners—Retrouvai won Best in Platinum while Mateo’s pearl and diamond earrings topped the Best in Pearls category. 
Barbara Heinrich Studio won Best in Men’s for her necklace.
Best in Diamonds Below $20,000 went to Mariani 1878 for their necklace.
The award for Best in Diamonds Above $20,000 went to Gismondi 1754 for the “Raggio di Sole” necklace featuring white and fancy yellow diamonds.  
Ileana Makri won Best in Gold for her cuff.
The Best in Haute Couture award went to designer Elsa Jin for her LIFE2021 brooch. 
Fernando Jorge won the Editor’s Choice Award for his diamond cuff. 
Best in Debuting, given to a designer exhibiting at Couture for the first time, went to Marie Lichtenberg; one of the designer’s signature lockets is pictured below. 
Rounding out the evening was the presentation of the Cindy Edelstein Award, given annually to an individual in the Couture community who is dedicated to the success of designers and brands and serves as an inspiration to others.

This year’s winner was Tony Goldsberry, the founder of showroom Rock House who was lauded by friends and colleagues in a tribute video as being humble, passionate, kind, and stylish.

“Cindy was very passionate about the design community, and it was never about her,” Brousseau said in the video. “And that’s the same with Tony.”  

Goldsberry kept his acceptance speech brief but did tell the audience how happy he was to be back in person at Couture.

“It is our community that keeps us all together during these times,” he said. “This is a big group of my friends.” 

 Related stories will be right here …
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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