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Findings: Diamonds in Dallas… Model Behavior… Ross Rocks…

De Beers will open its sixth U.S. unit on April 1 at NorthPark Center in Dallas.

DIAMONDS IN DALLAS: De Beers will open its sixth U.S. unit on April 1 at NorthPark Center in Dallas. Located between Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York, the 1,878-square-foot boutique will feature all of De Beers’ diamond jewelry collections, its new watch line and exclusive men’s jewelry by Steven Webster, said Hamida Belkadi, chief operating officer of De Beers Diamond Jewelers U.S. De Beers entered Texas in September with a store at the Houston Galleria that has “exceeded our expectations and budgets,” Belkadi said.

MODEL BEHAVIOR:
Last season, when model Erin Wasson cut her teeth as a stylist at the Alexander Wang show, she draped the models in silver finery from Rogues Gallery. This time around, she’s turned jeweler herself.

This story first appeared in the January 28, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Wasson, 26, is creating her own designs for Wang’s presentation on Saturday, and it’s a project she hopes to eventually parlay into a full jewelry line of her own.

“It’s all going to be very discreet,” Wasson said of her not-yet-named collection comprising mixed-metal body chains and a pair of chain suspenders. “The pieces are meant to be worn under, not on top of, his clothing. The whole idea is to have them popping out of random places, like slipping out of a vest or peeping through a cutout in the clothes.”

Wasson is also working on a three-year design collaboration with streetwear label RVCA to debut for spring 2009.

ROSS ROCKS:
Kara Ross, known for her signature fine jewelry collection, is launching a boutique line, Kara by Kara Ross. The line shares the same aesthetic as her fine line, but the boutique label will offer stones such as malachite, tiger eye and amethyst set in gold and rhodium plated base metal. Ross’ fine jewelry offers gems set in 18-karat gold.

“I started thinking how the price of gold is skyrocketing and it looks like it will keep going,” Ross said. “This just makes sense. Plus we had such a good time creating them. We still used amazing gem stones, but the base metal not being gold was a huge difference. You can afford to have big, bold looks.”

Kara by Kara Ross will retail from $100 to $600. Ross began the collection last September when she partnered with J. Mendel to do the jewelry for his spring show. She made a series of half yellow gold-half gunmetal cuffs with an x motif that was sold at her Bergdorf Goodman trunk shows and at the J.Mendel boutique. Naeem Khan plans to feature Ross’ new collection at her Feb. 7 runway show. Ross intends to show Kara by Kara Ross to stores such as Neiman Marcus, Scoop and Bergdorf Goodman. Ross expects Kara by Kara Ross to become a major part of her current business. She may create another lower-priced line to accompany her handbags.