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Brand Licensing Europe to pay tribute to Kelvyn Gardner

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 Thursday 18 November (day two of the event) as Colour for Kelvyn day.

The Kelvyn Gardner License This! Competition has been helping brands and designers to break into the licensing industry for over a decade and applications for this year’s entries close on Monday 11 October. The competition final will take place in-person at BLE on Friday 19 November.

BLE has now 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 be asked to submit a design for a desktop product, such as a mouse, coffee mug, desk tidy or USB stick, drawing inspiration from Aardman’s award-winning IP – Morph.

Further details on how to apply for this category can be found at or by emailing

The team has also unveiled this year’s judging line-up, which features several new faces, as well as the welcome return of Start Licensing md Ian Downes, who is stepping into the enormous shoes left empty by former chair Kelvyn.

  • Ian Downes, md, Start Licensing (chair)
  • Phil King, md, Trademark Products
  • Sabrina Segalov, senior international licensing manager, Sanrio
  • Emily Aldridge, head of global licensing, Abysse
  • Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo
  • Teri Niadna, md, Brandgenuity
  • Sarah Ward, chief executive, The Giftware Association
  • Clare Piggott, md, Larkshead Media
  • Billy Langsworthy, co-founder, Mojo Nation & Brands Untapped
  • Rob Goodchild, commercial director, Aardman
  • Sarah Lawrence, director, This is Iris
  • Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, Jehane
  • Karen Hewitt, buying director,
  • Maxine Lister, head of licensing, Natural History Museum
  • Dale Boreham, senior design manager, Moonpig

The second day of the BLE in-person event – which takes place at ExCeL London from 17-19 November – will be called Colour for Kelvyn day.

Attendees are invited to wear bright colours in honour of Kelvyn’s love for eye-catching jackets and make a donation in his name to industry charity The Light Fund.

“Kelvyn was someone that I – and everyone else in the licensing industry – genuinely loved and truly admired,” commented Anna Knight, vp of 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.”

Anna continued: “Colour for Kelvyn day is obviously inspired by his love of a colourful 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.

“We also want to say a huge thank you to Kelvyn’s wife and children – Michelle, Regan and Eliot – for enabling us to honour him in this manner and for joining us at BLE this year to launch Colour for Kelvyn day at 0900 on Thursday 18 November. I can’t wait to see the hall filled with a rainbow of colours in his memory.”

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