Jewellers' Network

Opportunity of a lifetime for PlatAfrica winners


Collaboration between the world’s leading producer Anglo American Platinum and Platinum Guild International (PGI) India resulted in an opportunity of a lifetime for last year’s winners of the PlatAfrica Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Competition to visit India earlier this year.

The purpose of the trip was for them to participate in PGI India’s design sourcing process for the prestigious Evara brand.

Sylvester Louw, who won the professional category, and Jefta Mtole and Thomy Vencatasawmy, who were joint winners of the student & apprentice category, also got to meet big Indian manufacturers and trade media so that they could showcase their designs, skills and inspirations.

The three got a full brand emersion session to understand the Evara brand and evolution to date, said Kleantha Pillay, Anglo American Platinum’s Head of Market Development, who accompanied them on the trip.

“Then they participated in the design workshops, along with local designers, to understand the design brief.”

They have been invited to submit their concepts/designs to PGI India and if their designs are chosen, they will enter into a commercial agreement with an Indian manufacturer. Platinum has become the symbol of love in India, one of the fastest growing platinum jewellery markets in the world.

The trip to India was a great opportunity to showcase his work internationally and to interact with local jewellers, said Thomy. “I’ve learnt a lot about Indian customs and gained a deeper understanding of the history behind their craftsmanship and jewellery.

What I experienced in Mumbai – walking the streets, the store visits and the Evara brand immersion – has given me a unique insight into traditional Indian bridal jewellery and enhanced my ability to design contemporary jewellery within the Indian context.”

The trip to India gave me an opportunity to be exposed to international trends and gain an understanding of how I could tailor my designs to this context, said Jefta. “The interaction with jewellery manufacturing companies was very valuable as we gained insight into what clients want, which is important for us as up-and-coming jewellers. The design brief given to us was simple and clear, allowing us to produce work that speak to the Indian market. This was truly and inspirational experience.”

Sylvester agreed. Visiting Mumbai was a life-changing experience, he said. “The diversity of one of the oldest civilisation assailed the senses through the incredible flavours and aromas we found in the food prepared, drinks and laughter around the dinner table and conversations sharing knowledge of our countries, people and beliefs.”

We were exposed to very creative designers, manufacturers and the concept of the Evara brand; explored possible future collaboration and grasped the enormous potential for growth that India offers through the media briefings and media interaction, he said.

This winners of PlatAfrica 2017 will again be invited to India as part of the Anglo American Platinum and Platinum Guild International (PGI) India collaboration.

This year’s competition has “Bold Minimalism” as theme, which aims at achieving the perfect pairing of timeless platinum with on-trend design – curated elements, pared down, simplified; each one considered, courageous and meaningful… a simple expression of love.

It looks to minimalism as a stance against excess, it dares to be bold with designs that stand out from a sea of clutter, said Kleantha.

The target market for the 2017 competition is Indian millennials; a bold, experimental generation looking for a fresh, modern take on tradition.

The 2017 PlatAfrica winners will be announced at a gala event on 2 November.