Carine Claude
1st November 2023

Nadège Totah is a board member and co-organiser of GemGenève.

Who are you showcasing at the Designers Village?

For Emerging Talents, I am not looking for perfection or finished pieces, quite the opposite. They are « coup de cœur ». What interests me is the story these artists and their creations tell. They are often very small, discreet brands that fly under the market’s radar. As for the “New Designers” category, it encompasses creators who already have some experience. They are often slightly more established young brands that have developed a network, visibility, and clientele. Hence, they have somewhat more resources.

How do you spot them?

Instagram is an inexhaustible well for discovering new talents. From a « coup de cœur », human relationships are formed. I love chatting with all these creators, understanding the whys and hows of their approach. There are real gems to be found. And then, of course, there’s word of mouth… It’s something very personal. I impose no selection criteria as it would be a shame to miss out on a talent. I have no guiding thread apart from my tastes. Moreover, all these designers are very different from each other.

For the most part, the pieces you have selected are cheerful and colourful…

Because we need it! We need colour and lightness in this often dull and oppressive world. Plus, it’s very fashionable. There are so many stones to play with, like garnets… Costume jewellery is in vogue. The bigger and more colourful, the better. One can envision oneself by the beach in the middle of summer with big bracelets or large earrings. It’s not a diamond set where you wonder “when will I have the occasion to wear it?” The mix of materials is also trendy. For instance, Armenian designer Shavarsh Hakobian makes very interesting unisex jewellery where he uses wood or rope combined with metals and gemstones. It takes daring to do it, but it’s not low-end, quite the opposite. We always remain in the realm of high jewellery.