The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has invited the world’s leading luxury jewellery designers and regional jewellery design students to collect on a single platform - ‘Pearl Essence’, and revive the pearling tradition of Arabia in contemporary fashion. The Dubai International Pearl Jewellery Design Programme is the world’s first attempt at encouraging jewellery design with pearls of varied categories - Tahitian, South Sea, Akoya and Freshwater.
Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC said: “This international pearl jewellery design programme will both highlight Dubai as a centre for the global pearl trade and increase the visibility of pearls in the fashion industry”. The programme is two-tier. The professional designer tier will involve a custom-designed collection of pearl jewellery pieces, inspired by the Arabian pearling heritage and represented in a modern and contemporary fashion. DMCC is in talks with leading luxury jewellery brands including members of the Dubai Pearl Exchange, to finally select 10. The entries will tour international jewellery trade exhibitions before being auctioned by Christie’s, and the proceeds donated to charity. The other tier, the student tier, invites final year students to a design competition. The winner will be judged by an international jury, chaired by DMCC and comprising trade journalists and professional jewellery designers. The evaluation will be based on commercial design, wearability, theme-based creativity and the use of pearls as the main design feature. DMCC is working with 44 jewellery design schools spanning Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Lebanon, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey to solicit entries before the early 2009 deadline. Ten shortlisted student designs will be manufactured into finished jewellery by DMCC-nominated manufacturers and pearl sponsors. Winners to the competition stand to receive awards - a 30-day internship with an international jewellery design house, a week's visit to the pearling operations of Paspaley Pearling Co in Western Australia, a seven-day course at Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA’s) Carlsbad campus and online pearl courses from GIA..
Supporting the programme are Paspaley Pearling Co., as sponsor and official pearl sponsor for the student category, Damas, Dhamani, Mikura Pearls and Pinctada as official manufacturers, and others. Gaiti Rabbani, Executive Director, Coloured Stones and Pearls, DMCC said: Through Pearl Essence, we aim to enhance awareness and appreciation of the beauty of this gem, drawing on the artistic finesse of luxury jewellery designers as well as the budding talent in the industry”.
The two-year Pearl Essence programme will culminate in a gala event in Dubai – with an exhibition showcasing the pearl jewellery created by both professionals and students, along with an awards ceremony for honouring three students. The final pearl jewellery collection will form part of a six-month traveling exhibition to major international jewellery shows. Pearl Essence complements DMCC’s recently announced “Pearls of Arabia”, a landmark project located on The World islands, featuring a high-quality offshore entertainment, education and retail centre.