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

CollectionsFeb 02, 2023
Lowe’s Is Now Selling Jewelry

The home improvement store’s website features an “Empowerment Tools” demi-fine jewelry collection.

Policies & IssuesFeb 02, 2023
Tiny Radioactive Capsule Lost in Australian Outback Found

A government official said search crews “found the needle in the haystack” when they located the capsule belonging to Rio Tinto along an 870-mile stretch of road.

TrendsFeb 02, 2023
Amanda’s Style File: Purple and Playful

Amanda Gizzi welcomes February with a selection of amethyst jewelry, a birthstone that “deserves its own time to shine.”

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

EditorsFeb 01, 2023
Designers to Watch in 2023: Boochier

Behind the playful and nostalgic brand lies deeper meaning.

Weekly QuizFeb 02, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
SurveysFeb 01, 2023
Consumer Confidence Falls in January

Wariness about the year ahead offset a more positive view of the current economic situation.

MajorsFeb 01, 2023
Six New Retailers Appointed to IJO’s Board of Directors

The IJO also welcomed one new vendor member to its 13-member board, Brecken Farnsworth of Parlé Jewelry Designs.

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

ColumnistsJan 31, 2023
Squirrel Spotting: How About a Word for the New Year?

It begins with a “t” and ends with a “c” and is imbued with warmth and positivity, Peter Smith writes.

Policies & IssuesJan 31, 2023
Rio Tinto Issues Apology After Radioactive Capsule Goes Missing

The tiny capsule, which is believed to have fallen out of a truck, was lost somewhere along an 870-mile stretch of desert road.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Indian Jewelry Brand Tanishq Opens First U.S. Store, More on the Way

The jeweler’s expansion plans include 20 to 30 more stores in North America and the Middle East over the next two to three years.

Events & AwardsJan 31, 2023
Gucci Is Getting a Gem Award

The Italian luxury brand will receive the first Gem Award for High Jewelry Excellence.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Martin Flyer Names New VP of Business Development

Industry veteran Kevin Lane has stepped into the role.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
Researchers Uncover Bejeweled ‘Golden Boy’ Mummy

The ancient Egyptian teenager was buried 2,300 years ago with 49 amulets to guide him through the afterlife.

SurveysJan 30, 2023
Consumers Embracing Non-Traditional Ways to Mark Valentine’s Day

The NRF’s annual survey shows that consumer attitudes about how, or even whether, to celebrate Feb. 14 continue to evolve.

Events & AwardsJan 30, 2023
JA Is Searching for the Next Retail ’20 Under 40’

Nominations are open now through March 24.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

A column detailing how independent jewelers did last year and the top watch brands of 2022 were among the most-read stories last week.

FinancialsJan 27, 2023
Tiffany & Co. Shines for LVMH in 2022

Acquired in 2021, the brand’s high jewelry sales have doubled and its new “Lock” collection was an instant hit.

MajorsJan 27, 2023
Diamond Council of America Appoints Treasurer, Board Member

Executives from Fred Meyer Jewelers and Riddles Jewelers have filled the roles.

CollectionsJan 27, 2023
Piece of the Week: Heavenly Vices’ Lock Necklace

The Victorian-inspired design is a functional lock and key.

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

TrendsJan 26, 2023
At Vicenzaoro, Paola De Luca Gazes Into Jewelry’s Future

The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.

CollectionsJan 26, 2023
NDC and Lorraine Schwartz Announce New ‘EDDI’ Class

The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative provides diamond credit and mentorship to young brands helmed by BIPOC designers.

IndependentsJan 26, 2023
Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry Set to Open 10th Store

It will be located in San Antonio’s Alamo Quarry Market and will be Lee Michaels’ third location in the city.

Policies & IssuesJan 26, 2023
Diamonds Do Good Names 10 to Board of Directors

Stephanie Gottlieb, Jewelers Mutual’s Mike Alexander, and Craig Rottenberg of Long’s Jewelers are among the new board members.

WatchesJan 25, 2023
These Were 2022’s Top-Selling Watch Brands, Chrono24 Says

Rolex remained No. 1 while a brand known for its pilot watches slipped into the No. 5 spot.

MajorsJan 25, 2023
John Hardy Names New CEO

Luxury retail executive Frédéric Levy has taken on the role.

×

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