Stars Are Rising in Las Vegas

The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas has selected the six designers who will make their jewelry trade show debut as “Rising Stars” at this June’s show. Each year, “Rising Stars”—which is housed in the show’s Design Center—features selected designers who have never exhibited at a major jewelry trade event.

This year’s Rising Stars are Matt Bezak, Cyrille Jeantet, Dawn Hale, Lata K, Enric Majoral, and Suzy Landa.

Lata K Designs / Lata K Sasson was born into a family that has been in the jewelry trade since the 1890s. Working alongside her parents at a young age, she learned about gemstones and the craftsmanship of fine jewelry. In 2002, she decided to break away from her family’s traditional designs and start her own line of contemporary jewelry under the brand Lata K Designs. Her jewelry identifies with many of today’s hottest trends, from diamond-accented medallion pendants on leather cords, to long shoulder-duster earrings and big, lusciously colored cocktail rings. However, it is her collection of transformable jewelry that most closely reflects the designer’s unique style. Each piece is ingeniously crafted to be versatile so that it can be worn in as many as 15 different ways.

Matt Bezek has been a jeweler for 16 years but an artist all his life. His artistic career started, surprisingly, when he earned a degree in dental laboratory technology, where he learned to create in a functional and aesthetic way. His technical skills readily transferred to the art of jewelry manufacturing, and he went on to study at the Gemological Institute of America. He then taught manufacturing at GIA for more than five years. Bezek’s vision for his work has graduated into the lost wax casting method in glass called cire perdu. Inspired by sea life forms, he considers his style to be contemporary with a sense of drama or classicism.

Enric Majoral began his career as a jeweler in the early 1970s when he needed to earn a living on the small Mediterranean island of Formentaria. Largely self taught, he learned quickly how to balance the two basic needs that drive jewelry designers: to make jewelry that will sell and at the same time satisfy his artistic vision. He is particularly focused on spare organic shapes and finishes that bring out the inherent qualities of the material, creating jewelry that is rich in textures, shapes, and color combinations. While this is his debut in America, Majoral enjoys a large following in Europe.

Suzy Landa began making jewelry for friends and family at age five by using colored wire and fuzzy pipe cleaners. Many years later, as a refugee from both the film industry and the dot-com world, she returned to this childhood passion, transforming a hobby into a career. With a background in basic goldsmithing and with continuing studies of metalworking techniques, she has in one year of business been featured in nearly a dozen consumer magazines and had her jewelry worn by a host of celebrities. Combining simple shapes with a fresh eye for color, she makes jewelry that’s bold yet feminine. She creates each piece using only high-karat gold and pristine gemstones, and the overall palette is bright with shades of pink, red, green, and orange. Landa favors curved lines over straight, circles over squares, and form over function.

Dawn Hale began her jewelry career using traditional goldsmith techniques as well as cutting-edge technology (with the use of precious metal clay) to design pieces for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It all started with a “girlfriend wish”— to inspire her closest circle of friends, she created a collection of jewelry based on images of the goddesses of ancient mythology. Hale believes that various aspects of many different goddesses reside within every woman. In creating her “Gods and Goddesses” collection, she often used actual antiquities for reference. In her “Goddess in the Garden” collection, the flora and serpents are the main design theme. All are meant to inspire and call forth the goddess within every woman.

Cyrille Jeantet’s CMJ Jewels collection comprises handmade pavé pieces using diamonds, pearls, and gemstones of various colors. Many pieces are inspired by elements like flowers, feathers, and clouds. After years of designing and manufacturing exclusively for companies such as Gioia, Van Cleef and Arpels, Chaumet, and Arfan, Jeantet created CMJ Jewels a year ago to make his famed jewelry available to select retail outlets. The Jeantet family has been in the jewel business for three generations. Based in Paris, they continue to manufacture their pieces entirely by hand using artisan methods that ensure quality craftsmanship in detail and design.