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BIPOC Emerging Designers Land at Greenwich St. Jewelers

CollectionsFeb 15, 2022

BIPOC Emerging Designers Land at Greenwich St. Jewelers

It’s the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative’s brick-and-mortar debut.

Pictured are jewels from Birthright Foundry and Dorian Webb, both of whom are part of the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative. They’re stocked at the collective’s first physical retailer, New York City’s Greenwich St. Jewelers.
New York—A lot can happen in a year.
 
In January 2021, the Natural Diamond Council and Lorraine Schwartz announced the creation of the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative, a project aimed at creating a more equitable fine jewelry industry.
 
The program awards a total $1 million in diamond credit to 50 emerging fine jewelry brands helmed by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) professionals. 
 
The diamond and jewelry industries are steeped in tradition, with professional skill sets passed down through generations. This insular nature makes it hard for emerging brands to break in and develop relationships, particularly in the diamond industry.
 
“Offering eligible designers the access to build relationships with diamantaires directly will help actualize longevity for their business and the whole of the diamond industry,” NDC told National Jeweler when the EDDI was announced.
 
Second-generation jewelers Christina Gandia Gambale and Jennifer Gandia, owners of 46-year-old Greenwich St. Jewelers, know what it’s like to carve a path in the industry after starting as outsiders. 
 
 
Growing up, they watched their Puerto Rican immigrant parents establish their New York City business. Today, they’re one of few jewelry companies in New York that can claim Latinx, female ownership. 
 
“Equity and diversity in jewelry enriches and strengthens the industry, making it more exciting and resonant for jewelry lovers everywhere,” they said in an email to National Jeweler. 
 
They’re the first physical retailer for the EDDI collective (and sell it online too). 
 
Late last month the store launched with five designers from the program: Malyia McNaughton of Made by Malyia; Marvin Linares of Marvin Douglas Jewelry; Constance Polamalu of Birthright Foundry; Dorian Webb; and Lisette Scott of Jam + Rico. 
 
“When you have industry powerhouses like Natural Diamond Council and Lorraine Schwartz combining forces to address equity in the jewelry industry, we knew that the EDDI was going to be a program that made a difference,” the sisters said.
 
“We're passionate about emerging and BIPOC artists, so getting involved with the initiative seemed like a natural fit.”
 
Greenwich’s EDDI capsule collection comprises 28 jewels, ranging from $3,300 to $32,400. 
 
Shoppers will be likely to see more from the capsule’s designers at Greenwich St. Jewelers in the future. 
 
“Each one of these artists have designed collections that can sit alongside the famous names in jewelry, which only proves that there is no lack of talent and creativity, only deficits in access for all,” the retailers said.
 
See the full collection online.

 Related stories will be right here … 

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