Brand Licensing Europe has paid tribute to licensing legend Kelvyn Gardner, who sadly and suddenly passed away at the start of this year, by renaming License This! to the Kelvyn Gardner License This! Competition and nominating Nov. 18 (day two of the event) as Color for Kelvyn Day.
The competition has been helping brands and designers break into the licensing industry for more than a decade and applications for this year’s entries close on Oct. 11. The competition final will take place in-person at BLE on Nov. 19.
“Kelvyn was someone that I – and everyone else in the licensing industry – genuinely loved and truly admired,” says Anna Knight, vice president, licensing, Informa Markets. “He chaired License This! from day one and was a massive advocate for making the sector accessible to everyone, particularly new blood with exciting ideas. He was so generous with his time – not only through the judging process – but also with the mentoring he offered the finalists and winners, that it seems only fitting it’s now known as the Kelvyn Gardner License This! Competition.”
BLE has added a third award category in partnership with Mojo Nation to provide a springboard for inventors and designers keen to break into the sector. Applicants for the product design category will submit a design for a desktop product, such as a mouse, coffee mug, desk tidy or USB stick, drawing inspiration from Aardman’s IP, “Morph.” Further details on how to apply for this category can be found at Brandlicensing.eu or by emailing [email protected]
The team has also unveiled this year’s judging line up, featuring several new faces, as well as the welcome return of Start Licensing director Ian Downes, who is stepping into the enormous shoes left by former chair Kelvyn Gardner.
• Ian Downes, director, Start Licensing – chair;
• Phil King, managing director, Trademark Products;
• Sabrina Segalov, senior international licensing manager, Sanrio Global;
• Emily Aldridge, head, global licensing, Abysse Corp;
• Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo;
• Teri Niadna, managing director, Brandgenuity;
• Sarah Ward, chief executive, The Giftware Association;
• Clare Piggott, managing director, Larkshead Media;
• Billy Langsworthy, co-founder, Mojo Nation and Brands Untapped;
• Rob Goodchild, commercial director, Aardman;
• Sarah Lawrence, director, This is Iris;
• Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, JEHANE;
• Karen Hewitt, buying director, Character.com;
• Maxine Lister, licensing head, Natural History Museum; and
• Dale Boreham, senior design manager, Moonpig.
The second day of the BLE in-person event, which takes place at ExCeL London from Nov. 17-19, will be called Color for Kelvyn Day. Attendees are invited to wear bright colors in honor of Kelvyn’s love for eye-catching jackets and donate in his name to industry charity, The Light Fund.
“Color for Kelvyn day is obviously inspired by his love of a colorful jacket, which seemed to get more outrageous every year and also by his advocacy of and support for The Light Fund; it’s a really special charity that Kelvyn was always keen to help,” says Knight. “We also want to say a huge thank you to Kelvyn’s wife and children – Michelle, Regan and Eliot – for enabling us to honor him in this manner and for joining us at BLE this year to launch Color for Kelvyn Day at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18. I can’t wait to see the hall filled with a rainbow of colors in his memory.”