Only Natural Diamonds — the consumer-facing, multichannel digital platform powered by Natural Diamond Council — has launched its inaugural digital cover featuring model and musician Karen Elson.
The cover marks the first for newly appointed editor in chief Sam Broekema, who came to OND from stints at InStyle and Vanity Fair. The new digital property is planning a quarterly cadence.
“The standard bearer of cultural significance is the cover,” Broekema explained. “We’re excited to mark this season with a cover star who naturally embodies the inherent values of natural diamonds. There are few models who have the staying power of Karen Elson who defined grunge-era-cool, then evolved into a runway maven par excellence, and then reinvented herself as a boho songbird. Like a natural diamond, Karen stands outside of the trends and transcends versatility.”
The cover was shot in New York City by Jennifer Livingston and will be accompanied by an exclusive interview with its face as well as an extensive 13-page editorial and video infused with new ideas for styling modern diamond jewelry.
“I’m very sentimental about jewelry,” Elson explains in the digital publication’s interview. “Jewelry is sentimental far more to me than, say, an item of clothing. You know, the rings I wear, the earrings I have, the things that I covet. And they’re all extremely personal.”
The editor in chief said his goal with the publication is to celebrate special and unique stories around diamond jewelry. “Cover stories are such an exciting way to connect with someone who has a long history with jewelry and to narrate the story in a deeper way. We have the unique opportunity to tell the fullest possible story around diamonds while staying entirely brand agnostic,” he said.
Working with model Elson work on set was “a supreme joy,” Broekema bemused. “She has been photographed as so many characters by the world’s most iconic photographers so she comes with an incredible and rich perspective. In every frame, she brings a different energy or idea. She is truly magnetic.”
The cover image was shot in front of a pastry shop in Midtown Manhattan and, according to Broekema, the baker fell in love with Karen through the window, “just as we all did on set.”
He continued, “This shoot was an opportunity for Karen to embody her own skin and how she wears natural diamonds as a musician. In each shot, you can see how she would layer diamond jewelry in creative ways that expressed her personal style.”
The editorial features jewelry from Bulgari, Cartier, Birthright Foundry (a participant in NDC’s Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative), Khiry (a participant in NDC’s Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative), Van Cleef & Arpels, London Jewelers, Harwell Godfrey, Bucherer, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Mateo and Tabayer.
“There are no boundaries for what we can cover as natural diamonds are involved in all parts of culture,” Broekema said. The debut cover story premieres today on naturaldiamonds.com.