Las Vegas, NV, June 2, 2019—The COUTURE Design Awards event last night 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!”
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.
The complete list of finalists and winners can be seen below, and a link to a dropbox with images can be found here.