NEW YORK — Asprey has made the move.The British luxury brand on Tuesday launched the Asprey Cut, a branded diamond heralding the new creative direction the firm is taking.
This story first appeared in the May 30, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We are engaged in revitalizing product range, so it was natural to turn to a new diamond cut,” said Philip Warner, president of Asprey in the U.S.As reported, the division of the A&G Group, which recently demerged the Asprey & Garrard brand into two separate companies, is in the middle of a major overhaul under the creative direction of Hussein Chalayan for ready-to-wear, Alessandra Gradi for jewelry and Thierry de Baschmakoff for silverware, leather goods, watches, homeware and eyewear.The new Asprey Cut is a result of a collaboration with renowned Antwerp, Belgium-based diamond cutter Gabriel Tolkowsky, who in 1999 created Asprey & Garrard’s Eternal Cut, which has 81 facets, as well as a petal design around the cutlet. This cut will now be exclusive to Garrard.“[For Asprey], we asked [Tolkowsky] to produce a diamond that was traditional and classic, yet shows the new vitality of the brand,” said Warner.
Tolkowsky studied historical diamond shapes and settled with the cushion cut, which is close to the natural form of the diamond in the rough and was popular between the 17th and 19th centuries. The new Asprey Cut, which is available from 0.5 to 3 carats, has 61 facets and four inverted A’s on the crown, creating a more floral glow than that of a traditional brilliant-cut diamond, which typically has 57 or 58 facets.
The Asprey Cut diamond will initially be available in a series of platinum or 18-karat gold engagement rings, with prices beginning at $5,300 retail.
“A diamond engagement ring could be the most significant first purchase of jewelry,” Warner said.
Over the coming months, the line will be expanded with pendants, bracelets and necklaces. While sales projections were not disclosed, Warner said: “Diamond jewelry is a significant portion of fine jewelry sales and we hope the new cut produces a major part of engagement ring sales.”