How These Teen Designers Just Got Neiman Marcus’ Attention

Photo: Courtesy of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
High school senior Zachary Gudziak just nabbed the attention of Neiman Marcus for his bauble-creating skills — thanks to a ring inspired by rat traps that references greed. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Gudziak, an 18-year-old student in the suburbs of Detroit, won the first-ever Neiman Marcus scholarship for jewelry design as part of the annual, long-running Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The luxury department store also awarded a scholarship for fashion design to Olivia Reavey of the Boston area.

Gudziak’s ring, dubbed “Nailed,” was inspired by “observing rat traps in Florida and seeing how simple yet well-designed the mechanism was,” according to a release. This led the budding designer to mull over “how a mousetrap could be related to humans, with a gemstone as bait to emphasize one of humanities’ pitfalls: greed.” Reavey’s winning design, “Birch Tree Coat,” was constructed from a large, acrylic-painted canvas that was then chopped up and sewn into a colorful topper.

The two teens each received $1,000 from the department store as part of the Award. Reavey’s scholarship will go towards her RISD tuition (she’s starting at the art school this fall), and Gudziak plans to use the award winnings to take art classes when he starts at Michigan State University (where he’ll study engineering), according to a release.

Reavey's and Gudziak’s designs are currently on display until June 2 at Neiman Marcus in Las Vegas; their pieces will then be shown at Parsons School of Design in NYC from June 2 to 12. While this is the inaugural round of Neiman Marcus awards, the wunder-teens are in good company within the Scholastic Awards — the likes of Zac Posen, Andy Warhol, Lena Dunham, and Richard Avedon are previous winners.
Photo: Courtesy of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
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