Meet our Phenomenal GEMS

Jenine Lepera Izzi
Jenine Lepera IzziCreative Director
Jenine Lepera Izzi studied art and design in New York City and Florence, Italy for many years. She has developed her own techniques in rendering jewelry designs. Her unique style of design is a culmination of training as an interior designer as well as a bench jeweler. Her work synthesizes her lifelong interest in design, a fascination with color, and the attention to detail that she brings into the classroom.
Alan Brodsky
Alan Brodsky
Alan Brodsky has been designing jewelry for more than 20 years. He is a skilled model maker and jewelry teacher at Parsons School of Design and at the 92nd St Y. His previous collections were sold nationally and editorialized in W Magazine, WWD, Elle, Vogue, and Bazaar. Each collection they were inspired by his interest in architecture, art deco, and the Bauhaus movement. Each piece is handcrafted in silver and in 18k gold. Currently, he uses CAD/CAM for design and to manufacture fine jewelry and accessories.
Martinu Schneegass
Martinu Schneegass
Martinu Schneegass grew up in Germany, obtaining a Masters in Architecture in Darmstadt, Germany, then a second Masters in Fine Arts at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris. He participating in art shows in six countries before moving to the USA in 1980. He has worked in exhibit design and advertising, and has created his own fashion accessory line of ties, scarves, vests, and jackets under the name BoTé New York, with showrooms in five US cities. He has been freelancing for over 30 years.
Hiba Husayni
Hiba Husayni
Hiba Husayni is a trained architect with a passion for jewelry design and 3D Modeling. She brings her international experience and world class jewelry training into the classroom. Hiba specializes in 2D-3D softwares such as 3Design, Shaper, and Zbrush. She currently works as a CAD/CAM designer for a prestigious jewelry company in New York City.
Vashti de Verteuil
Vashti de Verteuil
Vashti de Verteuil studied apparel design and merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Design in NYC. She went on to open her wholesale accessories company, became a successful freelance designer of belts, scarves, and jewelry for Yves St Laurent and other Parisian couture houses. She exhibited and sold her collections at Accessories Trade Shows for over 17 years, with showroom reps in four states and Hong Kong. Her jewelry, belts, and accessories sold to department stores, specialty stores, and boutiques across the USA, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Caribbean. She founded and co-owned the retail store Gallery Vercon in the East Village until 2016. She is a teaching professor at Parsons The New School for Design. She designs jewelry collections, exhibits at select jewelry shows, and designs couture bridal accessories for amajor bridal house.
Janusz Kawa
Janusz Kawa
Janusz Kawa was born in Warsaw, Poland and studied photography and film at The School of Art Institute of Chicago. He has worked for many years as a fashion photographer in Paris and New York, and his photographs have appeared in major world publications such as French Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Australian Vogue, American GQ, New York Times Magazine, and Interview. He’s known for his portraits of world-renowned artists such as: Morgan Freedman, Luciano Pavarotti, Ann Sophie Mutter, Louise Bourgeois, and Daniel Day Lewis among others. He exhibits his personal work internationally and is faculty at The School of Visual Arts (SVA) and at the International Center of Photography (ICP), as well as conducts private workshops through PhotoRetreat. He is dedicated to providing students with strong technical skills, as well as the essentials of tapping into the creative spirit. To view his work visit: www.januszkawa.com
Barbara Raleigh
Barbara Raleigh
Having worked for numerous prestigious, and not so prestigious, jewelry and watch companies, I have designed everything from Smiling Bumble Bee Pins to Wearable Art, for the mass market or the individual customer. Evolving from designer to manager to Sr VP were exciting steps in learning the business from different aspects. And the greatest feat was going from a company employee to self-employed: Starting and developing my own company. However, I am happily returning to my jewelry roots; my passion is enameling and creating one-of-a-kind art pieces. My works, sculpture, wall sculpture, jewelry and home décor items, will reflect my love of color, pattern and shape. Of course, my past experiences will direct me, too: my knowledge of business, production methods, materials, sales and marketing, trend direction, fashion, world events, art shows, cultural influences, looking at ‘what’s new’, and just living in NYC and traveling the world
Kia Schwaninger
Kia Schwaninger
Kia Schwaninger has been making & designing jewelry for as long as she can remember. She holds a BFA in Jewelry & Metals from RISD and a Master in Luxury Design from the Creative Academy in Milan. Her love for beautiful design & exquisite craftsmanship led her to the high jewelry world, where she designed for many of the high jewelry maisons over the past 15+ years of her career. After working for Tiffany & Co, Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston, where she headed the design team until recently, she now enjoys freelancing & creating custom pieces under her own label. Over the years she has enjoyed sharing her passion for jewelry design through teaching at the L’ECOLE Van Cleef & Arpels and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum’s educational programs. Now she looks forward to passing on the long tradition of gouache Rendering at the NYJDI.

Raffaells Stern
Raffaells Stern
Raffaella Stern is an accomplished  Italian-American jewerly designer, with over 30 years of  experience.  She has designed  for companies that producted for Boucheron, Cartier and  H.Stern.  Currently she is working as a freelance desinger for  Marina B.   She has taught jewlery design for over 7 years in an Italian school for goldsmith craftsman.  She brings her novel creative approach and specialized mastery of jewelry designing to the New York Jewelry Design Institute.
Nina Rossi
Nina Rossi
Nina Rossi is a Licensed Funeral Director, in New York with a passion for creativity, sculpting, and psychology.    She began her creative journey by discovering new skills as an artist. Today, she creates one of a kind memorials and keepsake jewelry with Know Before You Go Inc and Create And Inspire Inc.  Nina is  a self taught artist, sculptor, teacher, designer and color enthusiast. She doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty, using power tools, playing with abstract and unconventional methods of creativity.   She enjoys exploring the world of  three dimensional art forms and sharing her techinques with her students.

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