Through its sponsorship of the Jewellery Show’s Design Quarter Gems section, the Houlden Group had invited talented and inspiring designers to exhibit their latest collections. An expert panel of judges, featuring representatives from the Group, selected the designer with the most original, innovative and eye-catching collection to win the acclaimed Designer of Excellence award.
William Cheshire set up his own label in 2002, designing and making jewellery for both women and men from his Hatton Garden studio. He uses precious metals and stones to create provocative and edgy styles that are inspired by both the classical and pop/punk culture.
“I am absolutely thrilled to receive this award from an influential organisation such as the Houlden Group,” he said. “Quite a buzz has been created around the announcement so to win over the other designers, who are extremely talented, is simply amazing.”
Keith Gill, director at the Houlden Group and head judge for the competition, commented: “It’s important that we support but also reward brilliant individual designers producing cutting-edge jewellery to the highest standards. We were very impressed with William’s design skills; to say we were blown away would be an understatement.
“The overall standards this year have been beyond our expectations. William’s attention to detail is impeccable and his passion and enthusiasm really shone through. His pieces are unique but also have a wide commercial appeal which is essential for retailers.
“It was a hard decision to make as all of the designers were very special; however William definitely had the edge.”
Indeed, the judges found the competition such a close call that a Highly Commended winner was chosen for the first time. Cindy Dennis Mangan was given this accolade for her passion, desire and excellent design skills.
Repeating the success of last year’s initiative, the judging panel also selected the best pieces of jewellery from the winner and the other designers’ collections to form a travelling exhibition – Designs of Excellence – which will tour Houlden members’ stores throughout the UK and Ireland.
“This award and our year-long Designs of Excellence Collection tour are great ways for our members to raise their profiles and attract footfall to their stores,” added Stuart Laing, chief executive of the Houlden Group.
Image: William Cheshire with the judges (Houlden Group members) and Julie Driscoll from the Jewellery Show.