Las Vegas—A group of capsule collections debuting at Couture 2022 will address two key issues currently facing the fine jewelry industry—the traceability of diamonds, and the need for more diversity.
“The Radiance by Couture,” which will be on display in the Cristal Ballroom, features the work of 13 BIPOC designers and is the culmination of the inaugural mentorship program of Couture’s Diversity Action Council,
It was created in partnership with De Beers, which provided the designers with diamonds from its Code of Origin
program—diamonds that have a unique inscription number and are verified as natural, conflict-free and mined by De Beers in one of the four countries where it operates—as well as a budget for production.
The designers in The Radiance group are: Angely Martinez
, Ashley Thorne
(A.M. Thorne), Jules Kim
(Bijules), Kassandra Gordon
(KLG Jewellery), Khadijah Fulton
(White/Space Jewelry), Lola Fenhirst
, Lorraine West
, Maggi Simpkins
, Melanie Eddy
, Olivia Shih
, Sara Bautista
, Viviana Langhoff
and Zulaikha Aziz
“We are honored to partner with De Beers to provide a platform for these 13 talented designers,” said Couture Director and Emerald Executive Vice President Gannon Brousseau.
“It has been so enriching engaging with the designers and watching their businesses flourish and evolve over the last 18 months. These capsule collection launches are certain to add a high level of excitement to our event and we are delighted to welcome these designers to our community.”
Erin O’Donnell (Couture), Elizabeth Bonanno (The EAB Project), Fernando Jorge, Floriana Annibali, Jennifer Maxwell (Leigh Maxwell), Joel Cheatwood (Gems & Tonic), Julez Bryant, Lauren Godfrey (Harwell Godfrey), Megan Aoki, Monica Stephenson (Anza), Pamela Love, Polly Wales, Prerna Sethi (Sethi Couture), Stephen Webster, and Zoe Chicco served as the DAC mentors for the program.
The Radiance capsule collections will be on view in Salon 633 in the Cristal Ballroom during Couture
, which is slated for June 9-12 at the Wynn Las Vegas, with a preview event on the evening of June 8.
The collections are available commercially for retailers to carry in their stores.
Related stories will be right here …
Formed in the summer of 2020 in response to calls for more diversity and equity in fine jewelry, Couture’s Diversity Action Council aims to contribute to making a more inclusive industry through programs that promote and support the BIPOC community.
A key focus of the council has been its mentorship program, which paired BIPOC designers with designers and members of the Couture community for one-on-one mentorship beginning in January 2021.
DAC augmented the mentors’ contributions with weekly or bi-weekly education sessions with experts in brand development, business fundamentals, financial guidance, and ethical gem purchasing.
“In developing our mentorship program, we wanted to ensure that the parameters we established first and foremost benefited the specific needs of the participating designers,” said Eric Ford, fine jewelry buyer at Neiman Marcus and head of the DAC.
“Within the application process, we sought feedback from the applicants so that we could thoughtfully pair them with a mentor who was uniquely positioned to meet their needs. It is a key focus of the DAC to not only promote and support BIPOC talent, but to amplify their voices and provide resources based on success metrics determined by and for BIPOC to directly address the barrier to entry in the jewelry industry.”