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SCAD

Students work shines in ZALES collaboration

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Written by Colleen Miller, Photos courtesy of ZALES

From January until March of 2018, a team of 15 SCAD students worked tirelessly alongside Zales to “design fine jewelry that reflects the aesthetic of the modern generation,” according to the Zales website. This SCADpro collaboration involved students from five-degree programs including: Jewelry Design, Industrial Design, Fashion Marketing and Management, Fashion Design and Luxury and Fashion Management.

“The students created three distinctive jewelry lines represented with physical prototypes in a classroom that was transformed into a Zales retail experience. Each jewelry line had a unique brand position and target audience with a compelling storyline. Our partners were moved to tears at the presentation and selected concepts to forward through Zales production – now available for purchase online,” said Jamie Gall, SCADpro Director in Savannah. “They worked as a team and invested in the Zales brand and the jewelry concepts. They were passionate about their work and took the time to research and become experts in designing marketable concepts for their partner.”

The jewelry pieces created, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings, range in price but remain more affordable than other fine jewelry. Through modern elegance and lower price point, these pieces are marketed to the millennial generation. The process of creating this entire jewelry collection began with simple sketches, which evolved into technical models and eventually a real product. “I enjoyed witnessing the progression of a sketch turning into a tangible product. We ended up fabricating an entire collection at the jewelry building using sterling silver and stones, so at the end, we had a very close idea of how the pieces would look if they went into production,” said Valentina Angulo-Gomez, a fourth-year jewelry design student who was one of three team-leaders for the project.

While working alongside Zales, the students used real data from the company to guide their creative and marketing decisions. Along the way they faced some obstacles. “The challenges were many but mostly they were technical,” said Angulo-Gomez. “Overall, it was a great experience, both technically and design-wise, that allowed us to enhance techniques we’ve learned before but haven’t really explored much.” Others agreed with this idea. “The most interesting part was definitely creative problem solving. The entire time, we strove to fulfill the current demand from the external partners, but also suggested various design solutions that Zales could implement further,” said Jay H. Song, Chair of Jewelry.

In the end, the SCADpro team created many successful jewelry items. “My favorite piece is the Z-ring mainly because it represents everything we wanted to achieve through our collection. This ‘Z’ motif can easily translate into different jewelry styles as well as materials,” Angulo-Gomez said.

SCAD students are just as versatile as the jewelry in The Zales x SCAD Collection. “I am very proud of the students at SCAD. Each and every one has a very special purpose and dream to come to SCAD. They are willing to go through committed workloads, rigorous critiques, sleepless nights and challenging unfamiliarity of continually learning new and sharpening their talents. I appreciate their dedication, cherish their dreams and am grateful to be part of their creative journey,” Song said.

To learn more about SCADpro or to see The Zales x SCAD Collection visit their websites.

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