Events & Awards

Lorraine Schwartz, NDC To Offer $1M in Diamond Credit to BIPOC Designers

Events & AwardsJan 26, 2021

Lorraine Schwartz, NDC To Offer $1M in Diamond Credit to BIPOC Designers

A total of 50 brands will benefit from the program that aims to provide jewelry designers entry to the fine jewelry world through diamond financing.

Illustration by Alelli, @alelli
New York—After last year’s protests over police brutality against Black people forced Americans to confront systemic racism head-on, many in the jewelry industry wondered what role race plays in limiting opportunities for Black designers and professionals.

Upon reflection, the Natural Diamond Council and designer Lorraine Schwartz have come up with a program they hope will provide equity for minority jewelry designers.

The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative offers $1 million of diamond credit to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) designers.

In an exclusive statement to National Jeweler, Natural Diamond Council CEO David Kellie explained why obtaining credit will help lower the barrier to entry in the jewelry world.

“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,” he said.

“We're committed to the advancement of equity in our industry. Not only is inclusion the right path to forge from a human standpoint, but also for business. More diverse perspectives open the doors to expanded innovation and deeper creativity, which is the driving force of our industry.”

The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative will allow BIPOC jewelry designers to establish credit in their own names and learn the process of diamond financing, as well as consignment and memo terms.

Designers also will establish relationships with diamond dealers, which is difficult to do without references or a history in the industry.
 Related stories will be right here … 
Schwartz, a third-generation jewelry maker known for her array of one-of-a-kind high jewelry seen on famous faces at the world’s buzziest red carpets like the Oscars and Golden Globes, explained her motivation for spearheading the initiative with NDC in a press release.

“It is past time for our industry to be more supportive and share the magic of diamonds with a larger, more diverse group of jewelers,” she said.

“Helping BIPOC designers, and more specifically the underrepresented Black designer community, gain entry to diamond vendors and credit financing as well as expand their businesses is a necessary step in the process towards a more equitable industry.

“This program is another opportunity for me to give back to those communities that have embraced me and have been a wonderful part of my journey as a designer over the last 20 years.”

The program will offer $20,000 of credit to selected jewelry designers, as well as mentorship. It will also act as a guarantor with diamond suppliers.
With $1 million on offer, that means 50 BIPOC-owned and -led brands have an opportunity to participate.

In addition to Schwartz and NDC CEO Kellie, the selection committee will feature Vanity Fair Fashion Director Nicole Chapoteau, and celebrity stylist and designer Jason Rembert.

Celebrity friends of Schwartz like Pharrell, Kelly Rowland and Tina Knowles will act as honorary advisors, lending their insights during various phases of the initiative.

Kellie added, “Creativity and innovation are the forces that drive our industry forward and in order for that to happen, we need more diverse viewpoints. This initiative is designed to support emerging BIPOC designers by giving them access to the diamond jewelry industry, which has traditionally been limited, and fostering their ingenuity and successes. We know that more diversity is needed in our field, and that this will benefit the designers and the industry as a whole.”

Applications are available now at NaturalDiamonds.com/Eddi

Credit will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, with the selection committee continuing to 
review designer applications until the $1 million has been fully allocated.
 
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

Supplier BulletinAug 11, 2022
AGTA GemFair™ Denver – Back and Better Than Before!

Sponsored by AGTA

AuctionsAug 11, 2022
Sotheby’s Is Preparing its First Art Jewelry Auction This Fall

“Art as Jewelry as Art” features works from artists like Salvador Dalí, Alexander Calder, and Max Ernst.

IndependentsAug 11, 2022
Martin Katz Is Moving to a Penthouse

The jeweler is relocating his Beverly Hills store after 20 years and has begun developing a lifestyle brand.

Brought to you by
The American Mined™ Collection: Ethical Sourcing That Matters

Rio Grande provides a pathway to responsibly sourced gemstones.

MajorsAug 11, 2022
Brilliant Earth Opens First Missouri Showroom in St. Louis

It’s the company’s seventh showroom opening this year.

Weekly QuizAug 11, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
ColumnistsAug 10, 2022
On Data: What We Know About Jewelry Sales So Far This Year

Sherry Smith digs into year-to-date data on lab-grown vs. natural diamonds, the performance of colored gemstone jewelry, and more.

EditorsAug 10, 2022
Take a Tour Through Buccellati’s Vintage Jewelry Collection

Associate Editor Lenore Fedow leads readers through the Italian jeweler’s works from the 1940s to the 2000s.

Brought to you by
Knowledge and Skills for Today’s Hot Topics

From laboratory-grown diamonds to design to country-of-origin, GIA's Alumni Collective™ has a seminar to suite your needs.

CrimeAug 10, 2022
Smash-and-Grab NY Thieves Flee with $2M in Jewels

The NYPD is still searching for the four suspects who robbed Rocco’s Jewelry in the Bronx.

MajorsAug 10, 2022
GIA Is Now a Sponsor of AGS Young Titleholders

The sponsorship will help fund programs and initiatives in the upcoming year.

MajorsAug 09, 2022
Signet to Buy Blue Nile in $360M Deal

The jewelry giant said the acquisition will allow it to tap into a pool of customers who are younger, more affluent and ethnically diverse.

TechnologyAug 09, 2022
Tiffany & Co.’s CryptoPunk Pendant NFTs Are Sold Out

There were only 250 made available, selling for more than $50,000.

CollectionsAug 09, 2022
Cora Sheibani Shows a Magic Garden of Jewelry at Sotheby’s

The British-based Swiss designer’s “Pottering Around” collection is for sale at Sotheby’s East Hampton starting this week.

SourcingAug 09, 2022
Diamond Price List Introduces ‘Insights’ Platform

It provides real-time diamond market analytics.

SourcingAug 09, 2022
Grandview Klein to Donate Dialysis Machines to Namibian Clinic

The diamond firm will give the donation at a ceremony in Namibia this month during a trip for select retail jeweler partners.

CrimeAug 08, 2022
Nehal Modi Sentenced to 3-9 Years in Grand Larceny Case

He was convicted last month after falsely claiming he had a deal with Costco in order to obtain millions in diamonds from LLD Diamonds USA.

TrendsAug 08, 2022
Amanda’s Style File: Spicy Spinels

Tough, vibrant, and full of personality, spinel is a perfect birthstone for August babies, Amanda Gizzi says.

IndependentsAug 08, 2022
Gemist, NDC to Offer Custom Pieces by BIPOC Designers

Dorian Webb, one of the designers in the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative, will be the first to work with Gemist.

MajorsAug 08, 2022
Here’s How to Support Jewelers for Children this JFC Day

The charity will hold its fifth annual fundraising day on Sept. 24.

SourcingAug 05, 2022
Rare Earth Mining Co.’s Bill Heher Dies at 72

The passionate gem lover helped bring more than 300 different varieties of stones to the gem trade.

TrendsAug 05, 2022
Piece of the Week: Storrow Jewelry’s ‘Emblem Rosa’ Charm

The brand has attracted attention for its colorful, vintage-inspired pieces.

MajorsAug 05, 2022
Former Nike Executive Joins Team at David Yurman

Marcelo Tau is the company’s new chief operations officer.

Policies & IssuesAug 05, 2022
Satta Matturi Joins RJC Board

The jewelry designer founded her eponymous brand in 2015 after nearly two decades in the diamond industry.

Supplier BulletinAug 04, 2022
Unusual Jewelry Finds Eager Buyers In Online Auctions

Sponsored by HiBid

WatchesAug 04, 2022
4 Takeaways from Chrono24’s Analysis of the Luxury Watch Market

The watch seller comments on future demand, how the crypto crash impacted Rolex and Patek Philippe pricing, the supply recovery, and more.

CollectionsAug 04, 2022
The Rest of De Beers’ 2022 High Jewelry Collection Is Here

It features fives sets of jewelry.

Lab-GrownAug 04, 2022
Lab-Grown Diamond Co. Plasmability Partners with HRA Group

Through the collaboration, HRA will exclusively cut, polish, and distribute Plasmability’s lab-grown diamonds in the market.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy