GemGenève's Designer Village to Showcase Extraordinary Design Talent

This May, five Emerging Talents and five New Designers will have the privilege of putting their jewelsmithing art and fine jewellery pieces on display at the exhibition
Left - Taj Mahal by William Llewellyn Griffiths
Right - Zen Renaissance-Balance Leaf by Aso Leon
Left - Taj Mahal by William Llewellyn Griffiths Right - Zen Renaissance-Balance Leaf by Aso Leon

Visitors to GemGenève’s forthcoming edition from May 9 to 12, 2024, at Palexpo Hall 1, should be sure not to miss the amazing space known as the Designer Village. Bringing together new names in jewelry and rising stars in the profession, the Designer Village offers an uplifting overview of some of the most promising budding talents. Ever since its first show in 2018, GemGenève has been actively supporting contemporary artistic creation, introducing the general public to emerging artists and those poised to embark on highly successful careers.

GemGenève is very much a springboard for independent jewelers, bringing some fantastic names to the attention of the public for the first time and further cementing the reputation of more established creative geniuses. From Alix Dumas (now one of the most fashionable designers) to Wallis Hong (whose reputation has expanded exponentially), the Geneva show has been drawing attention to artists who deserve greater exposure and recognition for over five years now. While their styles, techniques, and vision of jewelry may sometimes differ radically, these artists have one thing in common: their work leaves nobody indifferent.


For the eighth edition of GemGenève, the organizers have chosen a select handful of contemporary artists from across the globe. This coming May, five Emerging Talents and five New Designers will have the privilege of putting their jewel smithing art and Fine Jewelry pieces on display in the exhibition. Their inventive and entrancing works will be presented on exactly the same terms as those of established professionals, some of them going on show for the very first time outside their country of origin.

Designed and produced by Nadège Totah, the Emerging Talents & New Designers space offers an unprecedented degree of freedom to participating jewel smiths. Unlike any other existing trade show, GemGenève grants its exhibitors full artistic freedom; doing so has enabled Nadège Totah to come up with an utterly captivating space given over to the joy of discovering new things. Exhibiting artists can present their very latest creations with no need for them to be ‘approved’ by the GemGenève committee beforehand. Nadège Totah sees this unprecedented freedom as the only way of giving the artists whose works have won her over the legitimacy they seek.

Equilibrium of Powers by Alicia Stanska
Equilibrium of Powers by Alicia Stanska


For the first time, GemGenève will be presenting a new category: Masterpiece, featuring a major creative work by an artist in the field of jewelry or related skills. The aim is to honor contemporary creativity in Arts & Crafts. Alicia Stanska will be the first artist to exhibit in this category with one of her fantastic creations, Equilibrium of Powers. The piece in question is an exceptional, life-size haute couture dress hand-embroidered with over 110,000 Swarovski crystals; it took over three years to make.

Carosello ©William Llewellyn Griffiths Gold, pearls and precious stones


William Llewellyn Griffiths is a jewelsmith who is unafraid to challenge traditional style codes. Born in the UK, the independent artist originally trained in London with a family jeweller in Hatton Garden. Aware that travel could sharpen his creative edge, he then took a series of jobs everywhere from Barcelona to Auckland before settling in Melbourne in 2004, where he established his own brand.

William Llewellyn Griffiths’ pieces are at once sculptural and mythical in nature. His universe is a mixture of baroque influences, gothic architecture, and deep, intensely-coloured gemstones. From majestic cathedral rings to chandelier-like drop earrings, each of his creations is a whole world in miniature.

Griffiths draws inspiration from his own personal story. Taking the Latin aphorism memento mori as his dominant artistic leitmotif, he uses jewellery art to explore the infinite number of ways of celebrating life.

No matter how extravagant his pieces, each bears witness to highly restrained and delicate work on the materials used. The jewelsmith mostly uses the historic moulding process of lost-wax casting to appropriate materials in similar fashion to a sculptor. In a blend of tradition and modernity, he also incorporates cutting-edge technology including digitalisation and 3-D printing into his work. Decorated with caravels, swallows and daggers, his jewellery is set with sparking citrines, magnificent topazes and carefully selected emeralds.

William Llewellyn Griffiths crafts all his jewels in his studio in Melbourne. His work will be on show for the very first time in Europe at the eighth edition of GemGenève.

Muses Collection, Elen Ring ©Shavarsh Hakobian


Shavarsh Hakobian is a graduate of the Yerevan Academy of Fine Arts and one of the most eagerly-awaited Emerging Talents at this eighth edition of GemGenève. For his début at the previous edition of the tradeshow, the Armenian artist presented exclusive items in which materials and shapes enter into an extraordinarily poetic dialogue. His futuristic and voluptuous jewellery won over the public at the seventh edition of the event; this time, the young artist will be back with a whole new collection.

The artist’s first appearance at GemGenève allowed his work to gain international recognition and marked a decisive turning-point in his career. His return for this edition will be an opportunity to take a deeper dive into his creations.

The Armenian genius founded his eponymous brand in 2008. Experimenting with varied and sometimes unusual materials such as wood, leather and fabric, Shavarsh Hakobian is drawn to materials because of what they suggest: movement. As a symbol of life, the jewelsmith strives to transpose this élan vital into each of his pieces. His artistic practice is very much characterised by movement as expressed through the use of hard, immutable substances. Developing designs that seek to “immortalise a fleeting moment”, his rings, brooches and pendants come in a range of smooth, undulating and engulfing shapes that are astoundingly beautiful.

Hakobian’s conviction that nothing should stand still also emerges in his creative process. At the heart of his practice lies a huge sense of freedom, allowing the artist to iterate his project through to full completion. Approaching jewelsmithing as an exercise in devising something new, Shavarsh Hakobian has been creating highly contemporary jewellery for some twenty years now.

Damascus steel ring ©Villa Milano


Villa Milano embodies the rebirth of Made in Italy. Founded in 1876, the family firm has a fascinating history. Established as influential jewellers since the late nineteenth century, Villa Milano acquired an international reputation as early as 1889, winning the Paris Universal Exhibition Gold Medal with a modular silver sculpture. In 2018, Alice and Francesca Villa took over the helm of the family business and relaunched the brand. Adopting a more conceptual approach to jewellery, the fifth generation of Villas took the bold step of introducing new, surprising collections into the brand universe. By turning Villa Milano into a highly contemporary brand, Alice and Francesca have given the venerable firm a new and unexpectedly contemporary lease of life.

Using unconventional materials and challenging conventional notions of sophistication, the two artists have developed jewels in which Damascus steel sublimes the purity of white sapphire and black gold delicately reveals all the softness of mint green tourmaline. In devising innovative combinations, Villa Milano has ushered in a new style lexicon, particularly through its quest for restrained yet imposing designs.

Alice and Francesca have revived the goldsmithing past of their Maison with jewellery whose materials are at once marvellous and intriguing, revisiting traditional jewellery items and offering a fresh take on familiar models by using titanium and techniques borrowed from the art of micro-mosaics. Examples of this creativity in action include hypnotic violet aluminium hoop earrings and daring new variations of legendary jewels such as signet rings and cufflinks.

In the best tradition of the previous four generations of the family, Alice and Francesca Villa also offer a bespoke jewelsmithing service for their customers, opening up their studio to allow the creation of exclusive designs and putting their skills at the disposal of connoisseurs in search of unique pieces.

Zen Renaissance, gold and titanium ©Aso Leon


First revealed in Europe by GemGenève in 2023, Aso Leon is the embodiment of the new wave of Chinese High Jewellery. Having never left his homeland until last year, the artist’s first exhibition was remarkable – and much remarked-upon. For the eighth edition of GemGenève, Aso Leon will be presenting never-before-seen pieces combining titanium and exceptional gemstones. Dubbed ‘the Prince of Titanium’, the Chinese artist has made this metal his signature material since 2005. Unlike highly malleable gold and silver, titanium calls for highly specialised techniques; Aso Leon has developed his own distinctive creative protocol to cut and reassemble it, with jewel-setting also playing a key role.

The jewelsmith himself cuts the gemstones he uses in his pieces, reinterpreting the technique of bezel setting; the fine, flat gemstones used are hand-assembled and arrayed in a metal surround beforehand. Imitating the technique of plique-à-jour enamelling, Aso Leon also devises jewellery items in which beauty is the embodiment of skill.

Drawing inspiration from wildlife and nature, his contemporary jewellery is a poetic reinterpretation of natural elements. Colours and highlights play an important part in his collections; the titanium used is coloured by means of electrolysis. The undulating shapes of his designs and the interplay of shadows they produce result in surprisingly imposing forms. Aso Leon’s highly ethereal creations are beautiful in a whole new way, plunging us into the spirit of nature itself. 

Titanium and 18k gold ring set with a 4.69ct Fancy Deep Brown-Orange Peruzzi cut diamond ©Jaqueline Powers


Based in Miami, Jaqueline Powers is a new brand ‘made in the USA’ and borne by two visionary artists, Corina Tahuil and Vince Gerardis. The two jewelsmiths view jewellery as an essential part of how we define ourselves; Jaqueline Powers sees jewels as part of the art of dressing, merging the worlds of jewellery and fashion. Jaqueline Powers is more than just a brand name, too: she is their muse. Born over one hundred years ago, this Parisian lady summed up her philosophy as follows: “The more aware we are of our individual moments, the more alive we are, the more full our lives can be”. Combing antique styles, classical influences and timeless lines, Jaqueline Powers captures the zeitgeist. In its subtle work based around shades of brown and grey, the brand asserts a style all its own. For its eighth edition, GemGenève is giving this artistic duo the opportunity to realise their very first exhibition.

‘Candies’ brooch, titanium, diamonds and precious stones © Siu


A.WIN SIU, China

Founded in 2017 by artist Xiao Xintong, Siu is a not-to-be-missed Chinese brand. Since first arriving on the international stage in May 2023 at the sixth edition of GemGenève, Siu has gone from strength to strength. With its surprising and colourful pop creations, the brand is the embodiment of a world in which material itself becomes a symbol. From brooches resembling boiled sweets to a fantastical gun jewel, the pieces devised by Xiao Xintong are both conceptual and sacred. Seeking to create jewels with the power to ‘bring back happy memories’, the designer deliberately includes a great many references and nods to childhood. With its soft and voluptuous colours, Siu jewellery is a blend of tenderness and fantasy. Working mainly with aluminium, 18k gold and titanium (three materials that differ widely in terms of their density and hardness), Xiao Xintong uses colour to sublimate the materials used. Assembling gemstones like a colourist, she instinctively knows how to position each stone on her jewels and has a knack for creating hyper-realistic effects. Coupled with her absolute technical prowess, this spontaneity makes Siu a brand that’s as contemporary as it’s off-the-wall.

Drawing inspiration from her childhood dreams and past work as an illustrator, Xiao Xintong crafts entertaining jewels that conceal a profound metaphysical dimension. Seeking to create pieces that produce happiness and nurture inner peace for wearers, the designer has developed a characteristic style signature.

Amid daring jewel-setting interweaving ornamental stones and precious gemstones in harmony and dialogue, her jewellery pieces are also impressive feats of technical achievement.

Nébuleuse Fleurie earcuffs ©LAGARDE


Estelle Lagarde first made a name for herself in the world of high jewellery some years ago. A gouache painter by training, her technique and inventiveness originally won her recognition on the part of several leading jewellery houses before she went on to set up her own brand. For several years, Estelle Lagarde put her skills to work for some of the best-known names in high jewellery. The French artist embarked on her career with Van Cleef & Arpels’ creative studio in Paris and has continued to adapt her practice and refine her technique ever since. As an impassioned designer guided by her intuition and her artist’s heart, Estelle Lagarde began to experiment with the craft of enamelling in Switzerland and has also explored the art of miniature painting.

In 2018, she set up her own jewellery and watchmaking design studio and began to aspire to the creation of her own brand. In 2023, she launched her first collection with her Nébuleuse Fleurie (‘nebula in blossom’) line, a pair of earcuffs merging classical elegance with contemporary materials.

At the eighth edition of GemGenève, Estelle Lagarde will be unveiling the first line of jewellery under her own LAGARDE brand.

Ruby brooch ©Diana Zhang


 After her debut ten years ago in Paris at the legendary Antique Dealers Biennial, Diana Zhang is now one of the most influential figures on the Asian scene. Born in Jilin, China, she has been inspired by fashion, jewellery and art since childhood. Fully self-taught, Zhang sees jewellery as a way of exploring the meaning of life. Her stunningly realistic pieces are a reflection of real life, expressed using precious stones.

Diana Zhang has especially high standards when it comes to choosing the gemstones for her jewellery; the time required for her to complete a piece can be anything between six months and two years, making them especially sought-after and hard to obtain. In 2017, Tatler Asia published a wonderful profile on the artist, revealing that she deliberately produces only a limited number of works every year – often fewer than twenty, an extremely small number that makes the Diana Zhang brand as attractive as it is exclusive.

Diana Zhang is first jewelsmith from Asia to have exhibited her jewellery at the legendary Biennales des Antiquaires dealers’ event in Paris alongside the big names, and in recent years has established herself as one of the most promising brands. Her attendance at the eighth edition of GemGenève marks a rare opportunity to meet this very discreet artist.

Ring, gold, diamonds and precious stones ©Diva Jewels


Indian jewellery has had a strong influence on its European counterpart ever since the early twentieth century and has inspired the greatest jewellers of Place Vendôme. Now, GemGenève invites visitors to discover one of the most fabulous Indian jewellers, Diva Jewels. This traditional studio based in Mumbai has been in business for five decades. It’s headed up by Rishi Mehta, who has turned the family workshop handed down to him by his father into a fully-fledged design and production studio. Today, Diva Jewels offers customers an unforgettable jewellery experience. Imagine a personalised or bespoke piece of jewellery, made using high-quality gems and ready in less than two weeks; that is what Diva Jewels can deliver. Designing fairytale pieces marshalling arts and crafts on commission, the brand has a well-established identity that places it firmly in the finest Indian jewellery tradition.

From articulated hummingbirds to multi-coloured parrots, all the items made by Diva Jewels are highly technical and painstakingly assembled, creating displays of artistic skill featuring everything from eye-catching flowers to delicately fluttering butterfly and dragonfly wings. 

Life Swan ring ©Chong Ho Art Jewelry


Born in 1977 in Nanhai, Guangdong province, China, Ho Siu Chong took his first steps in jewelsmithing at a very early age. Now a renowned jeweller and enameller, Ho Siu Chong holds a diploma from the Hong Kong Design Institute. Seeking to refine his technique, he also trained in Italy and in the UK at the prestigious Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. Before founding the brand that bears his name, the artist worked for leading Hong Kong jewellers Cheng & Cheung for several years.

Drawing inspiration from nature and the beauty of life itself, his jewels are acclaimed for their exceptionally high standard of workmanship. Featured by Tatler Asia in 2023 as well as by Van Cleef & Arpels’ School of Jewellery Arts, in recent months Chong Ho Art Jewelry has become one of the new not-to-be-missed names in contemporary jewellery.

With a firm grasp of all kinds of enamelling technique, colour is everywhere in his pieces, characterising his powerful and poetic style. Another constant feature of his jewellery is a sense of balance and the quest for perfectly proportioned designs.

For the eighth edition of GemGenève, Ho Siu Chong will be presenting items embodying powerful symbolism in which love and freedom are depicted with infinite care.


At the intersection of fashion and jewellery, Alicia Stanska’s works immerse us in the twin worlds of fine jewellery and high fashion. With a diploma from the prestigious École Lesage in Paris, Alicia Stanska demonstrates rare and exceptional skill. Introduced as a child to the art of embroidery by her father, in adulthood she has made it her own means of communication and artistic expression. Proficient in all the artistic embroidery techniques used by the most prestigious fashion houses, the jeweller-artist sublimates the finest fabrics by decorating them with precious stones and sparkling crystals. A leading specialist in the Lunéville technique invented in the nineteenth century, Alicia Stanska has elevated pearl and sequin embroidery into a fine art.

At the forthcoming edition of GemGenève, visitors will have the opportunity to admire one of her most fantastic creations, Equilibrium of Powers, featuring a haute couture dress set with over 110,000 Swarovski crystals. Each stone has been delicately hand-embroidered – a task that took over three years to complete. Presented in an installation resembling a rotating musical box, this life-size jewellery sculpture is as much a concept piece as it is a work of art; it even includes a device that can synchronise it with the heart rate of a living person.

Originally unveiled at the Milan Fashion Week in October 2023, the work is the first in an exclusive series of seven jewelled dresses. 

Diamond World