LONDON — The concept of man-made diamonds remains a divisive topic, but Dover Street Market is standing behind the industry trend and inviting some of the contemporary fine jewelers it works with to experiment with cultured stones.
As part of a tie-in with the Diamond Foundry, the San Francisco-based producer of above-ground diamonds, the retailer invited jewelers Delfina Delettrez, Ana Khouri, Sophie Bille Brahe, Raphaele Canot, Hum and Hunrod to create capsules using stones by the Diamond Foundry.
While the resulting collection varies in aesthetics and price points — the range is from $1,875 to $136,905 — all designers found common ground in their flair for experimentation and their commitment to offering ethical products.
“I am fascinated by the future and by the experimentation. It’s interesting to offer people the possibility of having an ethical value on top of the value the diamond already has. For many people the ethical value is as important as the value of the stone,” said Delettrez, whose collection features ear cuffs or rings that bring together different diamond cuts, often drilled with silver piercings.
“I took inspiration from the classicism of the stone, with a punk touch added by the piercing that is drilled through the diamond. That dialogue between past and future is part of my universe,” she added.
For Danish jeweler Sophie Bille Brahe, who reworked her signature Elipse earring using above-ground diamonds, this was an opportunity to “work with bigger stones in more playful ways,” while Ana Khouri wanted to further her sustainability mission and be part of the discussion around lab-grown diamonds.
“As a brand we are committed to environmental, social and ethical issues, that is our definition of sustainability. We only work with fair-mined and fair-trade gold and all our gems are responsibly and ethically sourced. We thought it would be interesting to also embrace lab-grown diamonds because we want to support any action for environmental protection. Since that is part of what lab-grown diamonds have to offer, working with the Diamond Foundry on this one-time collaboration also became part of our commitment to environmental issues. We must embrace an open discussion of ethics,” said Khouri.
The Diamond Foundry is best known for using renewable solar technology to produce its diamonds, becoming the first certified carbon neutral diamond producer.
According to the company, both consumers and brands are starting to put more emphasis in the environmental and social impact of the products they stand behind.
“Partnering with Dover Street Market and six of the retailer’s most talented contemporary jewelry designers is a great testament to how designers and consumers are embracing above ground diamonds and are becoming more aware of where their products are coming from. They are more educated on the choices that are available and have been very responsive to the fact that Diamond Foundry diamonds are atomically identical to mined diamonds,” said Mona Sadat Akhavi, the Diamond Foundry’s vice president of marketing.
DSM and the Diamond Foundry also recruited artist Katerina Jebb to bring the collection alive through a creative campaign, which showcases the jewels against naked female bodies.
The collection will make its debut in April at Dover Street Market Los Angeles, on the retailer’s web site, as well as Farfetch, which hosts a dedicated DSM jewelry hub on its platform. It will then travel to stores in New York, London, Ginza and Singapore.