Ruth Hallows, aged 32 from Darlington, County Durham, beat off competition from 48 other students from the School of Jewellery, part of BCU, with her ‘Pearl Swirl’ collection.
She said: “I’m thrilled that Argos picked my collection. To be recognised by such a prominent retailer means a lot to me and I am really looking forward to seeing my designs in stores and around the country.
“It has been a great experience learning how to design jewellery for a national audience and create a collection to go into production. It really is going to get my jewellery design career off to a flying start.”
Earlier this year, Argos challenged the school’s first year students to design a four-piece capsule jewellery collection reflecting Argos’ forecasted trends for spring/summer. The students were then given four weeks to create prototypes for their collection to present to the Argos jewellery buying team.
Alice Rigby, jewellery buyer for Argos, said: “The students came back with some fantastic designs. We were blown away by their creativity. However Ruth’s beautiful ‘Pearl Swirl’ jewellery collection really stood out to us as a winning range.
“She’s clearly thought very hard about what would appeal to our customers and considered upcoming jewellery trends. We think our customers are going to love this collection as much as we do.”
Ruth will work for six months alongside Argos’ jewellery buying team and manufacturer Optima, where she will spend time learning the process of how her jewellery collection will be developed from design through to production.
Zoe Robertson, course director for the Jewellery Design and Related Products degree at BCU’s School of Jewellery, said: “Working with Argos has been a wonderful opportunity for our first year students to get a real ‘hands-on’ experience of creating jewellery for a top retailer.
“Argos has offered them guidance and advice on upcoming trends, pricing, materials to use and thinking about the end customer. It’s really beneficial for our students to learn about the jewellery retail market through a well-established brand, and to gain expert knowledge about future career-opportunities.”
The ‘Pearl Swirl’ collection is set to be sold in Argos retail stores and on their website from January, 2015.