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Lorraine Schwartz Designer Program Expands

Oct 18, 2021 10:15 AM   By Rapaport News
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The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) and celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz have chosen a second batch of designers and unveiled the finished pieces from round one of its Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative (EDDI).

Members of the initial draft, all belonging to the Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) community, will see their pieces sold online, the NDC said last week. The council created a designated trunk show that launched October 15 on e-commerce luxury fashion retail site Moda Operandi. Featured designers include Jameel Mohammed of Khiry, Dorian Webb, and Malyia McNaughton of Made by Malyia.

“The NDC is incredibly proud of what the first group of designers in the EDDI program have accomplished in their first year,” said NDC CEO David Kellie. “They have achieved exciting milestones such as appearances on the Met Gala red carpet, designing a custom collection for our most recent global advertising campaign featuring Ana de Armas, and partnering with best-in-class production partners to bring diamond-jewelry collections to life.”

Following the completion of the inaugural program, the NDC has chosen a second group of designers to participate in the initiative. They will receive the same benefits as the first cluster, including $20,000 in credit to finance diamond purchases, retail opportunities, selling support, press, diamond education, funding for production, and mentorship.

The NDC will continue to accept participants on a rolling basis until it has depleted the full allotment of $1 million, it noted.

The second group of BIPOC designers comprises:

Casey Perez, a first-generation Mexican-American designer who became interested in jewelry-making while taking a metalsmithing course and studying art history and psychology. She is influenced by a range of things, from modernist architecture to the Bauhaus and Memphis movements and Swedish minimalism.

Corey Anthony Jones, a Los Angeles native, who formed a love of jewelry at a young age, when his mother would take him to visit the family jeweler. He designed his first piece at 11. A design graduate of the Gemological institute of America (GIA), he draws inspiration from his childhood, art, architecture, pop culture and special design.

Halle Millien, founder of Heart The Stones fine-jewelry line, who studied under master designers from Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston, and Van Cleef & Arpels at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). She has worked as a designer for Liz Claiborne, Michael Kors, and Fossil jewelry brands.

Lana Ogilvie, founder of Sabre Jewelry, the first ethnic model to sign an exclusive contract with CoverGirl cosmetics. She has been featured in Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. She walked the runways for celebrated designers Azzedine Alaïa, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano and Issey Miyake, and was later the host of Fashion Television.

McKenzie Liautaud, a Haitian-American designer, who launched a collection of men’s accessories in 2010, including bespoke bow ties and pocket squares made of recycled fabrics embellished with hardware and crystals. He then introduced a women’s jewelry line examining the relationship between tribal style and Western design. His pieces have been worn by celebrities including Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Sarah Jessica Parker, Billy Porter, Shakira and Maluma.

Mexican designer Ruben Manuel, who opened his eponymous company Ruben Manuel Designs in 2005. He loves to work with colorful diamonds and gemstones. As a Native American descendant, he also incorporates silver and turquoise in nontraditional ways.

Image: Spike Network Ring, a piece created by Khiry for the initiative. (Natural Diamond Council) 
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Tags: Ana de Armas, BIPOC, Casey Perez, Corey Anthony Jones, David Kellie, Dorian Webb, EDDI, Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative, Halle Millien, Harry Winston, Jameel Mohammed, Jewelry, KHIRY, Lana Ogilvie, Lorraine Schwartz, Made by Malyia, Malyia McNaughton, McKenzie Liautaud, Moda Operandi, Natural Diamond Council, NDC, of Heart The Stones, Rapaport News, Ruben Manuel, Tiffany & Co, Van Cleef & Arpels
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