AKRON, Ohio, Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In a nod to women's love of statement-making jewelry crafted by unique artisans, jewelry retailer Zales launched its first-ever online platform – Zales Designer Spotlight – that will showcase and market a rotating line of up-and-coming fine jewelry designers from across the U.S.  The inaugural collection for Fall/Winter 2020 features jewelry from women of diverse backgrounds – from a sixth-generation jeweler and a lawyer-turned-artisan.

Au Xchange Pink Sapphire Inside-Out Triangle-Shaped Hoop Earrings in 14K Rose Gold available on Zales.com

"We're so excited about launching our inaugural Designer Spotlight platform in time for the holiday season to make it easier for our customers to find fresh, new designs that speak to their individuality and style," said Jamie Singleton, President Signet Jewelers. "This platform represents innovation on two fronts – it's both a groundbreaking approach for us to bring jewelry to market, and it's also a way that we can help independent, maverick designers promote their incredible pieces to a national audience by tapping into our significant fan base."

The inaugural Fall/Winter 2020 Collection is the result of Zales' call in July to emerging fine jewelry designers to apply for the program. Zales conducted broad outreach to jewelry organizations and designs schools to promote the opportunity. The program includes helping emerging designers by leveraging the successful Zales.com e-Commerce platform and mentoring them through the fine points of being a successful retailer. The designers' collections will grow through phased drops throughout the Fall/Winter 2020 season.

Whether these designers are pursuing a new creative dream career or following a multi-generational family legacy, each designer has a unique story to tell. Meet our five designers for the inaugural season:

The winners are:

  1. Au Xchange – Based in San Francisco, Azra Mehdi, the founder of Au Xchange, leans heavily on her Indian heritage to provide women with the opportunity to design and purchase their own jewelry. Leading with her passion for gold, Azra offers pieces that inspire and empower. "We are all unique, multi-faceted individuals and jewelry is merely the spice you add to enhance and highlight who you already are and what you already have," Azra explains, "As Au Xchange evolves, I plan to integrate art, architecture and language themes both from my own culture (Indian/Middle Eastern) and my husband's culture (Jamaican/Panamanian)". Au Xchange will be the first Designer Spotlight collection to launch on Zales.com starting November 12.
  2. LexiMazz – Based in New York, Alexis Mazza is the founder and designer of LexiMazz. Her experience as a sixth-generation jeweler and education at the Fashion Institute of Technology helped her become a two-time award-winning designer. Her collections are deliberately designed so that they can be worn together, mixed and matched, stacked, layered, and worn in any setting while executing confidence, beauty, and grace. "I want my consumers to feel like themselves, but a fabulous version of themselves," Mazza stated about her designs. LexiMazz will be available on Zales.com starting November 18.
  3. Elliot Young – Based in Los Angeles, mothers Jessica Elliot and Jennifer Young set out to create a company that offers products to make people feel great while giving back to their local youth crises that are affecting children today, including homelessness, education, hunger, health challenges and more. Elliot Young partners with charities that advocate for, support and empower youth "One person CAN make a difference. One person affects the next person, and our company gives people an easy way to make that difference," states Jessica and Jennifer. Elliot Young will be available on Zales.com starting November 24.
  4. Sarah Graham Metalsmithing – Based in Aspen, Colo., Sarah Graham incorporates innovative materials with her exceptional design sense creating jewelry that is unlike anything else: organic and textural, feminine yet substantial, unique yet universal in its appeal. The natural inspiration behind the jewelry – whether cast directly from Jacaranda Pods and decayed wood or rendered in wax from a microscopic view of single cell marine organisms – gives her designs a texture and feel that makes them infinitely wearable. Each year Sarah raises funds for Namaste Direct, a non-profit organization that makes micro loans to women entrepreneurs in Central America by holding an all-day jewelry demonstration and luncheon for supporters. Sarah's statement making jewelry is exciting and elegant. This, along with Sarah's unique combination of business and retail experience, traveling, a rigorous apprenticeship and her dedication to providing amazing customer service to her clients led her to where she is today. Sarah Graham Metalsmithing will be available on Zales.com on January 13.

The Diamond store plans to continue with the Designer Program application process in the Spring/Summer 2021 season to continue helping support small businesses and innovating how it brings jewelry to market.

About Zales The Diamond Store®

Zales The Diamond Store® is a leading brand name in fine jewelry retailing. Zales is operated by Signet Jewelers Limited, the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry. Signet Jewelers operates over 3,300 stores. For additional information on Zales, visit www.Zales.com or follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Zales), Twitter® (www.twitter.com/ZalesJewelers), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/Zales), Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/ZalesJewelers) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/ZalesJewelers).

Lividini & Co.


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