January 18, 2021


The Golden Needle Awards and the idea to recognize and award emerging design talent was conceived and founded by Mara Beltrami-New. Born in Milan, Italy, and hailing from the Beltrami House of Fashion that launched in the early 1900′s, Mara’s family began as tailors and shoemakers and evolved into clothing designers and manufacturers in the 1920′s. Today, the House of Beltrami is still active in Italy with stores in Florence, Milan and Rome, and continues to private label manufacture the highest quality product.

Influenced by a fashion forward mother who often hand-made clothes for her and who always made sure she and her brother, Fulvio, were impeccably dressed, Mara attended a French school and learned to speak the language fluently, doing it all with style! Excelling in Art and winning several competitions therein, Mara was taken under the wing of Miss Hanna Huala, a renowned sculptor and painter, to study bas relief sculpture panels. Embellishing and decorating the foyer of apartment buildings, alas, was not her calling. Instead, it was fashion that stole her heart and wooed her back into drawing clothes and accessories. With the help of her mother, Mara started creating and sewing her own clothes and wore them with confidence, passion, and pride.

Years later, after graduating as an architect in Australia and being sidetracked into radio and theatre in Canada, she found herself plucked and replanted in Los Angeles. There, Mara encountered several designers whose lines she thought were brilliant but whose product had simply not been exposed. Reigniting her love affair with fashion, and desiring to provide a platform that would showcase such talent, Mara founded The Golden Needle Awards for these emerging designers, giving them an opportunity to be seen and judged by a panel of celebrity and industry experts. With the creation of The GNA, Mara fulfills her own dream of helping designers achieve their goals and reach another level in their professional careers. Her long term vision of The GNA is that of a growing annual event that has the support, sponsorship and recognition of its industry leaders. In keeping with the mantra of “May the thread of love sew the fabric of life together,” The Golden Needle is committed to donating partial proceeds to two favorite charities each year, believing always that “Giving is receiving“.

Yaacov Heller is a globally acclaimed sculptor, artist, and jewelry designer. His works are known for their intricacy, attention to detail, and unique interpretation of the human form and spirit. His pieces have garnered global recognition and admiration from art critics and world leaders alike. On numerous occasions, Heller has been commissioned to create historically significant works for presidents, kings, and heads of state, including: Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres, Jacques Chirac, and Anwar Sadat, to name a few. Heller’s magnificent jewelry and sculptures adorn many of Hollywood’s most famous movie stars and their homes. The pieces are masterfully designed in styles so unique that at first glimpse, one can actually recognize the great artist’s work, without looking for his signature. Yaacov Heller: 954.974.2235

Flying Vie, Inc. was founded on the principle of supporting emerging creative talents and is proud to be involved with the Golden Needle Awards.

Partnering with Mitsui & Co, LTD., Flying Vie offers import sourcing, development, and manufacturing support to apparel designers that lack the infrastructure and contacts to manage these processes internally.

Mitsui currently has international clients that include Max Mara, Burberry’s, Paul Stuart, Et Vous, Hanae Mori, Valentino, ETRO, Versace, Les Copains, Costume National, Pierre Cardin, and Trussardi.

Flying Vie will provide the winning designer complete access to Mitsui’s world wide fabric resources, garment development merchandisers, sewing factories, trims resources, laundry facilities, and import logistics services. Flying Vie will also consult with the winning designer in the areas of merchandise planning, retail distribution strategy, and operations infrastructure strategy.

For your dedicated works and long and outstanding efforts to use fashion as a platform to promote AIDS awareness, The Golden Needle Awards salutes you for personifying humanitarian STYLE and GRACE and for inspiring emerging designers to use fashion and their craft for the good of the world. Your hope that the alluring beauty and powerful message of the gown will continue to rouse young designers to make a difference is a message well received! We hope Jerry and Randy’s talent and dedication, and the gown’s symbolic message and presence at the 2004 Golden Needle Awards, will further inspire creative artists and designers. We are excited to have Jeran participate in our honorary event. You demonstrate that fashion can exceed all limitations and transcend all boundaries for the greater good.