By  on March 15, 2005

NEW YORK — De Beers USA, a new division of De Beers LV, has named Alyce Alston as chief executive officer.

Alston was formerly group publisher of W, W Jewelry, and Vitals magazines, which, like WWD, are owned by Fairchild Publications Inc.

Alston is the first De Beers USA executive to be appointed. She will report to Guy Leymarie, ceo of De Beers LV. De Beers USA will manage the U.S. launch of the brand, as well as all U.S. retail operations.

This June, the firm will open its first U.S. store, on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street in Manhattan. A second will open on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills by the end of the year. There are existing locations in London and Japan.

“Alyce brings to us her outstanding success in luxury publishing and consumer experience,” Leymarie said in a statement. “With the expansion of the company, our major project for this year is to establish De Beers in the U.S. with the opening of our New York store in June, and a further opening on Rodeo Drive in the fall.”

De Beers LV was created in 2001 as a retail partnership between diamond mining and marketing company De Beers and luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Antitrust issues had prevented De Beers from selling diamonds directly to the U.S. for some 50 years. An antitrust suit filed in 1994 was settled with the U.S. Department of Justice in August. However, the firm had already been planning to open the U.S. stores through the independently managed and operated De Beers LV.

Alston’s successor at Fairchild should be named shortly.

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