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“Men Choose Jewelry Differently Than Women” | Patricia Riekel, jury member and former editor of “Bunte,” talks about her way of judging

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Patricia Riekel, jury member and former editor of “Bunte,” talks about her way of judging.

As former editor-in-chief of “Bunte,” you reported for many years about fates, dramas and events from the world of celebrities. If Inhorgenta were a celebrity, how would you describe here?

Inhorgenta would be a multifaceted personality with feminine and masculine traits, seductive, elegant and luxurious, but also conscious of tradition. Inhorgenta is aware of her inner values.

Since mid 2018, you’ve no longer worked as editor-in-chief of “Bunte.” How are you feeling nowadays as a freelancer?

Good! I write more than ever. And alongside that, I also work as a consultant. I finally have time to think my thoughts all the way through to the end. When you’ve directed a weekly magazine for twenty years, you’re constantly thinking about themes, events and people, always with an eye toward something that would be suitable for a story. I was a news junkie. Now that I left that cycle, I can suddenly see the world out there with amazement and serenity. I no longer need to filter, evaluate or analyze everything. That’s incredibly liberating.

What do you love about jewelry?

That it’s authentic. I would never hang a fake gold chain around my neck. A colorful hippy necklace – yes! But I would never try to fake something that isn’t genuine.

What kind of jewelry do you like to wear best?

I love long chains and terrific wristwatches. As editor-in-chief, I saw the world’s finest jewelry: big chokers at galas, marvelous earrings at premieres. I personally like unconventional chains. I never wear more than two pieces of jewelry at the same time.

Which pieces do you associate with special memories?

I was in a department store in New York twenty years ago. They had an absolutely terrific jewelry section, where I discovered a chain with a golden heart adorned with a fine green emerald. It was breathtakingly gorgeous. When I returned to Germany, I casually mentioned it to my husband. And then I forgot all about it. My husband isn’t especially interested in jewelry, but left no stone unturned to get that piece for me. When Christmas rolled around, there it was under the tree. Incredible! That piece naturally means a lot to me.

Praise first, criticize later, and never be insultingly negative: throughout your tenure as an editor, you always complied with the feedback guidelines. How will you be as a juror?

No different. Whether I read a text or look at a piece of jewelry, my first impression counts most. I look to see if it’s a classical piece, if it was created daringly, if it’s unconventional or experimental. What kind of statement does this piece of jewelry want to make? Then, just as I do when I read a text, I check to make sure that the facts are right. In jewelry, this means scrutinizing the craftsmanship. How good is the quality? Is the piece really wearable? Some necklaces and rings tend to snag on objects in the surroundings or to rub against the wearer’s clothing. Jewelry is statement, fantasy and projection, but I must also be able to wear it.

About the INHORGENTA AWARD 2018: this year’s jury consists of nearly equal members of women and men. Do you think that women judge differently than men?

Yes, certainly! Men fundamentally choose jewelry differently than women. I’m curious to see how a ring, a diamond or a wristwatch will be seen from the jury’s different points of view. I ask myself: “Whom are the other jurors thinking about when they judge it? Are they considering only the quality or also the overall concept? Do they have a specific person in mind whom they could imagine wearing this piece?” Sometimes I directly ask my fellow jurors these questions.

Do think that fewer women treat themselves to costly jewelry nowadays than ten or twenty years ago?

Just the opposite: I think their numbers have increased. I know many women who earn plenty of money and who love to treat themselves to something beautiful. I was so delighted when I took over “Bunte” that I went right out and bought myself a Rolex. Nowadays it’s normal that women don’t have to wait for Christmas presents from their husbands. It wasn’t that way in the past. As recently as 1948, “Bunte” ran a headline asking the question: “Are working women neglectful mothers?” Today’s women don’t think that way anymore. Compatibility is the norm and this has boosted women’s self-confidence. Many women accentuate their self-esteem by beautifying themselves externally – with jewelry or fashion or both….

What are you most looking forward to at INHORGENTA?

The atmosphere! People have a primal need to show themselves, to reveal who they are, what they have, what sets them apart from others and what makes them shine. I’m looking forward to all the gorgeous treasures. But I’m a bit concerned that when I see all those beautiful things, I might feel an irresistible urge to own them….

INHORGENTA takes place in Munich. What does that fact mean to you?

Very much – and not only because Munich is my hometown. Beauty, status, luxury and coziness have always belonged together here. I couldn’t imagine Hamburg or Berlin as a location for a trade fair like INHORGENTA, nor could I imagine Düsseldorf, which isn’t sufficiently international. No venue would be better.

 

Stylishly Honored | The INHORGENTA AWARD will be conferred at a festive gala in Munich’s Postpalast on February 18, 2018. The commendation honors special products and achievements in the jewelry and watch industry. The award will be given this time in seven categories. Markus Hilzinger will be one of the seven jurors who choose the winners. In this interview, the top designer talks about the egos of creative individuals, his first wristwatch, and the big influence that light exerts on the feeling of a space.

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The INHORGENTA AWARD will be conferred at a festive gala in Munich’s Postpalast on February 18, 2018. The commendation honors special products and achievements in the jewelry and watch industry. The award will be given this time in seven categories. Markus Hilzinger will be one of the seven jurors who choose the winners. In this interview, the top designer talks about the egos of creative individuals, his first wristwatch, and the big influence that light exerts on the feeling of a space.

Mr. Hilzinger, you love beauty and you’re an impassioned art collector. What do jewelry, gemstones and watches especially mean to you?

They mean as much to me as art. Artworks, jewelry, watches and gemstones show what human beings are capable of achieving. One frequently forgets how incredibly much a single individual and his creativity can accomplish. I’m fascinated by the craftsmanly precision in the processing of stones and metals, the playful way of dealing with the materials and the passion with which a watch or a ring is designed. Why does one bracelet spark many people’s enthusiasm, while another drastically polarizes opinion? It’s exciting to see that. And the most beautiful part of it is that it always involves lasting values.

Can you recall your very first wristwatch?

Oh yes, that was fun! When I was six years old, I repeatedly took my father’s wristwatch away from him. I liked the feeling of having this gigantic watch on my little wrist. It made me feel all grown up. Back then, his watch was more or less as cool as a Swatch. Unfortunately, it somehow got lost during one of my many relocations. 

With your “Fine Rooms” agency, you design hotels and elegant private rooms. How does the design at INHORGENTA seem to you?

Beautiful! In the halls, one isn’t immersed in the usual “light soup” that makes us feel so tired at other trade fairs. Many of the dealers play with focused light sources, i.e. with brightness and darkness, in order to present their merchandise in an attractive staging. That’s pleasant for the viewer’s eyes and it gives a terrific atmosphere to the trade fair.

Are you a strict juror?

I don’t know…. But as a designer, I can surely see if the connective thread has gotten lost in a creative process. When a new item is created, one must always calculate for unavoidable compromises: in production, in expenses, in functionality – and then the marketing experts also insist on adding their two cents’ worth. If a designer succeeds in keeping hold of the connective thread throughout the process, that alone is a great accomplishment. Jewelry must kindle passion. That’s why I never judge a piece solely on the basis of craftsmanship, composition, color scheme and materials, but also based on my first impression and the emotions that it sparks.

You’ve won many accolades. AD Magazine ranks you among Germany’s fifty best designers. To what degree can prizes like the INHORGENTA Award be helpful for artists?

Every human being needs recognition. But creative individuals need much more of it. Artists often suffer from self-doubt during the creative process. But that’s also necessary so that they can become better artists. The attention that artists get when they win a prize is enormously important as an acknowledgement – and also as an accelerator of commercial success. In my opinion, there aren’t enough prizes for creative individuals in Germany.

What are you most looking forward to at INHORGENTA 2018?

I’m looking forward to many encounters and impressions. I’m very curious!

An artistic appearance | The stage at the Postpalast will be enhanced by a light installation by the artist Susanne Rottenbacher

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She designs expansive installations of light, has illuminated the Federal Chancellery and other buildings and won numerous prizes. Susanne Rottenbacher will now be exhibiting one of her works at the INHORGENTA AWARD on February 18th, 2018. Three questions for the artist: 

At INHORGENTA MUNICH 2018 you will exhibit a light installation. Which one? 

I will show the work “Colors in disorder” in the stage area of Munich’s Postpalast. It consists of five large acrylic arches through which lighting tubes are threaded. The surfaces are coated with a special film that refracts the light like a prism. With my installations I always try to create a choreography for the space as my installations always create dynamics. Although the installations themselves don’t move, the observer often feels as if they are moving through space – a kind of theoretical dynamics. My work is also to a certain extent uncontrollable. 

What do you mean by that? 

The impression of the work changes depending on the ambient light, i.e. the time at which it is viewed. This change is the message. There is no status quo. The effect of my work and how it changes cannot be controlled. I find that exciting. 

Is there an artistic parallel between your installation and the theme of the fair? 

Yes, I think so. On the one hand, I see the love for precision in processing. On the other hand, I use only technical and synthetic materials in my work. So cold and hard materials, similar to the gemstones. The resulting works, however, have a great sensuality and evoke a lot of emotionality. And it’s precisely there that I see a parallel with precious stones and fine metals. These are also hard materials that, once they have been processed artistically, exude a high degree of sensuality and great emotional power. I find this area of tension very interesting from an artistic point of view.

Networking with Vision | "Many inspiring reasons why one should pay a visit to INHORGENTA MUNICH": The INHORGENTA TRENDFACTORY in New York met with great interest on the part of potential exhibitors, dealers and the press. Plans are to meet again in Munich.

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On the occasion of INHORGENTA MUNICH's first networking event abroad, American designers and brands, jewelers and representatives of the press had been invited to the  German House of the German Consulate General at the United Nations Plaza. At midsummer temperatures, around 30 invited participants had accepted the invitation. Not only could they enjoy a breathtaking view over the East River and Manhattan, but also a diversified lecture program followed by a get-together.

Thus, Stefanie Mändlein presented the German market as well as INHORGENTA MUNICH as international order and communication platform for jewelry and watches to the audience. Max Andrew Link, Digital Expert and founder and CEO of the start-up company Eluxr spoke about digital strategies in the jewelry and watch industry. He underlined that trade is nowadays primarily growing in the online and mobile segments and no longer in the brick-and-mortar channel. In his opinion, the key to success lies in successfully interlinking offline and online purchasing experiences. Communication via Instant Messenger, in particular, was gaining in importance. Watch expert Sabine Zwettler (GZ Goldschmiede Zeitung, watch magazine) introduced the audience to the great variety of German watch brands, their history and their characteristics. The subsequent get-together was used for intensive talks and discussions. "The TRENDFACTORY has shown many inspiring reasons why one should pay a visit to INHORGENTA MUNICH", concluded Susie Biddle from the "National Jeweler" trade journal.

From the viewpoint of Exhibition Director Stefanie Mändlein, the long journey to New York has been worthwhile. "At any rate, it will not have been the last time that we have organized such an event in the USA. We have been able to establish a great number of contacts with potential exhibitors and visitors here, many of whom have only just heard about INHORGENTA MUNICH for the first time", she says. "Their feedback was very positive, the German and European market is highly interesting for many of them."

These contacts are supposed to be intensified in the weeks and months to come in order to be able to prepare a platform for American designers and brands at INHORGENTA MUNICH, which will facilitate their market entry in Europe. Therefore, US pavilions are at the planning stage for both the designer Hall C2 and Hall B1 "Fine Jewelry".

Alexandra Patino, Senior Vice President for Design of the New York jewelry brand Ippolita, also showed enthusiasm after the TRENDFACTORY: "INHORGENTA MUNICH fosters and supports young designers and European schools, which is very important for the industry's future. At the same time, it informs the general public about new technologies and trends in the industry and consumer behavior. Therefore, INHORGENTA MUNICH is the trade show for ideas and innovations in every field." 

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