Leading fashion jewelry company CAROLEE announces the winners of its year-long jewelry design competition with New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. The competition has been a key part of the company's 40th Anniversary celebration this year, which carries the theme CAROLEE: Then and Now. The FIT competition, deemed the "Now" part of that program, was aimed at ushering in a new generation of CAROLEE while honoring the heritage and DNA of the brand.
Guided by the FIT Jewelry Design Department and the design team at CAROLEE, the students began the process at the beginning of the 2011 school year and presented their final designs for judging in the spring 2012 semester. In addition to winning $1000 apiece, all five winners' jewelry designs have been manufactured by CAROLEE and are making their debut in major US and international department stores fall 2012.
The competition had four key categories central to the brand: Pearls, Metals, Fashion and Bridal/Social. A fifth "People's Choice" winner was voted online through a Facebook contest with videos of the student's designs, which CAROLEE implemented throughout the spring.
And the winners are: Palwasha Iqbal in the Fashion category; Yoonji Choi in the Pearls category; Prakshi Sharma in the Social/Bridal category; and Christine Gonzalez in the Metals category. The People's Choice winner is Elyse Spencer, whose pieces will be at retail in November for the holidays. For each FIT design sold, CAROLEE will donate $5 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Karen O'Brien, VP of Marketing CAROLEE, said, "Our collaboration with FIT provided us an excellent way to celebrate our 40th Anniversary. In the design process, we have had the privilege of both teaching the students how to design jewelry for the retail market and learning each of their unique creative processes. We are thrilled to be able to bring the winners' very first designs to the marketplace."
The collections will officially debut at a special event on the first floor at Bloomingdale's 59th Street on September 13. Students will meet with VIP's from the store, FIT, and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and their pieces will be shown in Bloomingdale's windows. CAROLEE will officially announce an ongoing FIT Jewelry Design Scholarship to support future development of 21st century jewelry design.
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