Galio Jewellers in St Albans

Galio jewellery launch design competition with SAFW 2015

Work experience with renowned jeweller Shaun Leane and display time within Galio Jewellers are among the incredible prizes for the winner of the Galio Jewellery Design Competition, in conjunction with St Albans Fashion Week 2015.

A week’s worth of work experience with internationally renowned jeweller Shaun Leane is as precious to any aspiring jewellery designer as the metals and gemstones they work with. And this amazing opportunity is within their grasp thanks to a competition launched by Galio Jewellers as part of the St Albans Fashion Week’s (SAFW) Creative Next Generation Initiative.

Three runners up will have their designs displayed in store at Galio Jewellers on George St, St Albans, with the overall winning design being made in silver. The winner will be awarded their finished piece and a trophy at the St Albans Fashion and Beauty Awards, held at The Odyssey Cinema in September 2015. As well as having their talents recognised and celebrated, the winner’s skills will be honed further with the once in a lifetime opportunity of a week’s worth of work experience with internationally renowned jeweller, Shaun Leane, at his new atelier in Mayfair.

Anyone under the age of 25 who’s passionate about jewellery can enter by designing a piece of jewellery, or a muse, inspired by the iconic St Albans Cathedral. The closing date is Friday 29 May 2015. Sarah Gillow, creative director of Galio, and jeweller Shaun Leane will judge the designs. The brief has been given to selected universities and colleges in the UK, including Hertfordshire. For full details, go to

Creative Next Generation-Marley Eliza Hart 1

Gillow says: “We’re thrilled to be able to set this competition as inspiration for young designers. Having had our business in George St for 23 years, with our store overlooking the Cathedral, we thought it would be a fitting design brief. Shaun is very supportive of our aim to give recognition to young local design talent and has kindly offered the winner a work placement at his studio in London. I believe it’s essential for design to be considered within a practical and commercial context. The opportunity to see your design made commercially is amazing.” Gillow added:

“Having this link to Creative Next Generation will give the winner incredible additional exposure, with the prize giving presentation as part of SAFW 2015. The organisers of SAFW recognise the importance of generating interest in the design community locally, so we’re delighted to be able to support that with this creative competition.”

Leane says: “I’m very flattered to be able to work alongside my longstanding partner Galio for SAFW competition to discover the next rising talent. I feel it’s essential we support aspiring artisans and designers to allow our creative industries to flourish and evolve. I was very lucky to have been taught by two great masters who passed to me all their knowledge and skills. Then later to have worked alongside visionary Alexander McQueen for 15 years, for it was this combination enabled me to be the jeweller/designer I am today.”

Jewel in the crown
Famed for pushing creative boundaries, Leane worked closely with Alexander McQueen for 15 years and some of his pieces are currently on display at the hugely successful Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty Exhibition, at the V&A Museum in London. As well as collaborating with Alexander McQueen and other designers such as Daphne Guinness, Leane’s striking pieces of work are also popular with celebrities, including Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Cara Delevigne and Beyoncé. To work with such a recognised talent is an exceptional prize and makes this competition a must for anyone interested in jewellery design.

Creative Next Generation
Recognising talent is at the heart of SAFW’s Creative Next Generation. The initiative was set up to unearth, support and showcase the next generation of creative talent. Its aim is to build a legacy in St Albans, not only to raise the profile of fashion, design and creative students in the city, but also to be the bridge between study and the world of work. SAFW offers a large variety of work based learning opportunities across a broad spectrum of subjects, including all elements of fashion and beauty from design, photography, merchandising and show production to media and PR. Students are also offered free masterclasses and workshops with industry professionals to help prepare and support students for their next steps in the world of work.

SAFW runs during October half term (26 October – 1st November 2015) to enable students to take part fully. For details of all the amazing opportunities available to students interested in furthering their careers, go to
Ellena Ophira, SAFW’s founder and organiser, says: “It’s so exciting for us that Creative Next Generation can offer this wonderful opportunity. This is exactly what we hope for CNG, that it can offer real platforms into the creative world of work. We’re grateful to Shaun Leane for giving us his time, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for a passionate budding jewellery maker and we hope that all interested apply.

About Annette Newman

Deputy Editor of TrendLife Magazine. Often daydreaming, always happy. If you only do one thing today, do it more stylish than you did before.

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