Judges

Laura Astrologo Porché
Jewelry & Watches Journalist and Influencer

 Laura has always loved media field since she started her career at RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana as an art Programmes producer.
She also owns a well known Instagram page specialized in Jewelry
www.instagram.com/journaldesbijoux/

Laura is a jewelry journalist editor in chief of the Jewelry and watches column to the publishing Swiss Luxury Group "CELEBRE". This group publishes a paper magazine (20.000 copies) and four online magazines.
She is also a contributor to Rapaport and other specialised jewelry magazines as well as a member of jury and a media partner of Rome Jewelry Week, Florence Jewelry Week, Valenza Jewelry Week, HOMI Fashion Jewels. She also collaborates with the jewelry tradeshow Fashion Paris 2022 and Vicenza Oro tradeshow.

Laura is a charity partner of Venice and Rome film festivals. 

Laura also collaborates closely with the premier fine jewellery show, “Gem Genève” as a representative member of the press corps. Laura participates as a member of the Swiss press and by the invitation of the show organizers. 

John Benjamin 
Jewellery Historian
Formerly International Director of Jewellery at Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers John Benjamin established his own independent jewellery valuation and advisory service in 1999.
A Freeman of The Goldsmiths’ Company and a Freeman of the City of London John is a Founder Liveryman and Court Assistant of The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars. He is author of Starting To Collect Antique Jewellery and co-author with Paul Atterbury of The Jewellery And Silver Of H G Murphy
A lecturer, valuer and jewellery historian. John has been a member of the team of experts on BBC Television’s Antiques Roadshow since 1991 and is a popular speaker for both The Arts Society and the National Federation of Women’s Institute.
Avi Levy 
President, International Gemological Institute North America

With over 30 years of jewelry experience and expertise, Avi Levy serves as North America President for the International Gemological Institute (IGI), and is a seasoned veteran who can speak to a magnitude of industry trends and topics.

In addition to his role overseeing the world’s largest independent gemological laboratory, he assumes other leadership positions – such as board member for Diamonds Do Good  and Mercury Free Mining – that provide him with a unique perspective that will educate fashion designers and aficionados alike.

Mary Sanderson 
Freelance Jewellery, Watches & Style Writer
Mary began her career at Tatler magazine, moving onto Vanity Fair where she edited the London fashion pages and compiled the magazines first jewellery supplement.
Since then, she has contributed to many major British titles including; Tatler, Vanity Fair, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, Telegraph Time, Harrods and Country & Town House Magazine. Her Consultancy service @whereitsatjewellery helps buyers navigate the jewellery world.

 

Virginia Hui WANG 

 
HCStudio Technology CEO, Xheia founder (sustainable jewelry)
Virginia started her career in luxury goods and jewelry in London after she obtained her postgrad degree in Scotland. In 2011 she first worked in Versace where she gained insights and experience in retail sales and merchandising. Then she joined Euro Pearls London, a leading cultured pearl producer and worked as Key Account Manager overseeing Asia territory where she developed cross-cultural business skills and built connections.
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After returning to China in 2014 she worked as Sales Manager in Dalumi Group a leading diamond sightholder and wholesaler. She engaged heavily in supply chain and gained hands-on design and manufacturing knowledge and experience.
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In 2016 she launched HCStudio Technology, a laser and material lab that researches the science of making small metal components with laser which is known to the public as metal 3D printing. Working closely with scientists, she successfully developed techniques to make complex metal components from computational designs to finished products in only a few hours. She then founded Xheia, a sustainable fine jewellery brand made with this technology and lab-grown gemstones.
Rickard Villard
Creative Direction Concept, Strategy Storytelling & Design

Rickard Villard has created iconic concepts for some of the most well known brands and businesses in Scandinavia. His creative vision is unlimited and spans art forms, industries and outlets. With 20 years of award-winning work under his belt his passion still lies in carving out concepts and formats that shapes the future.

His offering includes a range of capabilities - from strategic brand work to business strategies, timeless concepts, visual worlds and significant narratives.

Rickard lives and works out of Stockholm.

Olena Mynenko 

Artist, Illustrator, Fashion Designer

Olena Mynenko is an artist and illustrator with time-served experience as a fashion designer. She was born and studied Fine Art in Kiev (Ukraine), before completing her final studies in fashion design at Barcelona. ¨I have experience of working with film production companies as well as several years as an in-house designer for Spanish fashion designer Antonio Miro.

Her most successful projects have been from fashion brands such as Hermes where she felt "very proud to have had the experience to work with them in Brussels, Amsterdam and Luxemburg” as an illustrator. The most passionate projects saw her affiliate with perfume and jewellery brands that were ´seeking a classic, sophisticated style but with a contemporary interpretation.

Mynenko has a proven track-record of working with different techniques and mixed medias; ranging from the more traditional watercolour on paper, through to digital.

Thomas Köckeritz 
Creative Retail Strategist
Thomas Köckeritz brings with him over 25 years experience in the high luxury and fashion markets and the rare gift of combining commercial acumen with deep creative talent. Thomas enjoys a truly international profile and reputation, with a client list spanning London, Vienna, Berlin, Prague, Doha and Cape Town. Focused latterly on Business Transformation and Operational Management as CCO of a privately owned luxury department store in Vienna, he played an integral role in the delivery of numerous key strategic innovations to the business with proven results. His key skillsets in consulting projects are typically  retail operations, store design, marketing, brand and product management.  
 Thomas is always inspired and gathering information on latest trends, designs and material science - either through his engagement with the visual arts or travel. In particular, he is known for his mentorship of young professionals and also as a member of the expert jury at the VIENNA AWARDS for fashion and lifestyle, supporting the Young Designer Newcomer Award in particular. 
 Sam Okerstrom - Lang
Media Artist and Designer

Sam or “Samo” is a media artist and designer focusing on 3D animation, video projection design, light as a medium, and live visual environments.

Co-founder and principal of MASARY Studios, Samo oversees the transformation of artworks from idea to reality, working with site, large production teams, and technology implementation to create cutting-edge contemporary media artworks.

His experience spans grass roots organizations, underground events, and the worlds largest brands including being the creative director of TEDxCambridge for 5 years.