You’ll be in good hands with this stellar cast for a judging panel. They’ll be meeting the 18 finalists, voted by i-on readers, to choose the winners of each category and one overall winner who’ll walk away with a bespoke campaign in i-on worth £15,000.
Head judge: Michael Laing OBE
Michael is owner of family jeweller Laing Edinburgh with its flagship store on the city’s George Street. He also owns stores in Hampshire and Cardiff, has been Deacon of The Incorporation of Goldsmiths since 1993 and is former chairman of The Scottish Assay Office. A designer and gemmologist at heart, Michael has created many important commissions including the 1986 Commonwealth baton and was appointed as an official baton bearer for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Michael is also a Business Angel investor supporting new-start companies through Archangel Investment Group.
Michelle is a graphic designer, art director and a blogging pioneer, having paved the way for Scottish blogging by being the first Scottish fashion blogger. She began her blog, Kingdom of Style, with her best friend back in 2006 and has worked with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chloe and Comme des Garcons. Vogue magazine and the Independent recognised her as one of the most influential people in online fashion and The Guardian named her as one of the top 10 internet icons.
Anna has spent the past 17 years in the fashion business, first as an internationally acclaimed model and then as producer and creative consultant to brands, government and educational institutions in Europe and Africa. A champion of local design talent, she launched The Edinburgh International Fashion Festival in 2012 to bring together innovative leaders within the fashion industry.
Kestin cut his teeth in the fashion industry in London, designing menswear for Reiss and as a freelance consultant for brands including Debenhams, Ted Baker, Burberry and Next. He was also head designer for Nigel Cabourn before moving back to his native Edinburgh in 2011 to head up menswear for Common People. He launched his own label, Kestin Hare, in 2014 and designs each collection from his new Edinburgh-based studio and flagship store in the Shore’s Custom Lane where his menswear apparel sits alongside a select edit of Made in Scotland brands.
Sarah owns Jane Davidson in Edinburgh, one of the UK’s top women’s fashion boutiques, voted Scotland’s “Most Stylish Retailer”. Jane Davidson was founded by Sarah’s mother in 1969, is based over four floors of a Georgian townhouse in the city’s New Town and stocks a range of national and international brands, many on an exclusive basis in Scotland. Sarah is also an adviser to Atterley.com, the online retail platform for independents.
One of the UK’s most highly-respected chefs, Martin Wishart’s eponymous Leith restaurant brought the first Michelin star to Edinburgh in 2001 and has kept hold of the accolade ever since. His restaurant at Cameron House Hotel earned a Michelin star in 2011 within three years of opening. An established and multi-awarded chef and restaurateur, Martin also owns The Honours brasserie, Cook School by Martin Wishart and has been a columnist for The Herald newspaper for more than a decade. He’s passionate about Scotland and Scottish produce and his achievements and reputation have helped to raise the standard of Scottish cuisine at home and abroad.
Richard has 20 years’ experience in the food and drinks industry. He hit the ground running as part of ‘The Dirty Dozen’ - a specially selected team of outsiders brought in by Diageo to launch the Smirnoff Ice brand. Head-hunted by LIQUIDe in 2002, he helped to establish the energy drink Red Bull in Scotland before moving into the world of craft beer as the original sales and marketing manager for Brew Dog PLC. He is now a shareholder in Williams Bros Brewing Co and a co-founder of Drygate Brewing Co.