Hudson and Rachel Zoe Ventures have each taken minority stakes in Oscar Massin, and will be working with the jeweler to promote its sustainability and design credentials. The value of their stakes was not disclosed.
Luximpact’s co-founder Frédéric de Narp, who spent most of his career in fine jewelry, at Cartier and Harry Winston, said in an exclusive interview that both women were interested in the brand’s sustainability angle and its aspirations to be as transparent as possible.
“Oscar Massin is the first heritage jeweler to use lab-grown diamonds that are climate neutral. Kate and Rachel understood that. They wanted to be part of the story, and to promote the values of a new generation,” he said in an interview.
As reported last month, Luximpact added the 19th-century jewelry house to its growing portfolio of historic French brands and is recasting the designs using lab-grown diamonds that are sourced in the U.S.
The jewelry is made from untreated and climate-neutral Latitude diamonds. The settings are made from 100 percent recycled gold and platinum.
The diamonds are produced by WD Diamonds, which meets high standards of environmental and ethical responsibility as measured by SCS Global Services. SCS specializes in third-party certification, validation and verification of companies’ environmental and sustainability claims.
According to WD, the Latitude-branded rocks are fully traceable, grown in the U.S. and guaranteed conflict-free.
The debut collections are set to launch on Feb. 15 on the new Oscar Massin website.
De Narp said he got to know both women while working in the U.S.
He met Hudson when he was president and chief executive officer of Cartier North America.
“She is very much into sustainability, and so collaborative,” de Narp said, adding that Hudson would act as an “authentic ambassador” for the brand, promoting it among her social media followers, and highlighting its “craftsmanship and quality.”
De Narp said he worked with Zoe many times in the past, both at Cartier and Harry Winston, and said that she would be advising on strategy, and styling.
Asked whether celebrity investment would be part of a new business model at Luximpact, de Narp said it was “unique” to Oscar Massin.
The first company to enter the portfolio – via a joint venture – was Vever, an Art Nouveau pioneer, and de Narp said late last year that Luximpact planned to buy two companies in 2022, one of which is Oscar Massin.
De Narp and his partners said they are looking specifically at French jewelers founded between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, a golden age of creativity and craftsmanship in France when the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements were flourishing.
He said the Luximpact team wants to resurrect the DNA of these storied French jewelry houses and recast them for the 21st century from a creative, financial and ESG angle.
The upcoming Massin collections have been designed by Luximpact’s creative director de Laage, who has been drawing from Massin’s aesthetics and techniques. She has taken inspiration from Massin’s most famous designs, including his metal lacework and signature rose-cut diamonds, but has not tried to replicate them.
Both Hudson and Zoe, through Rachel Zoe Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on disruptive consumer technology platforms and solutions, have been on an investment streak, developing projects across a variety of categories.
Last month Hudson revealed her first foray into beauty, launching the Kate Hudson Juice Beauty Revitalizing Acacia and Rose Powder Mask. She also has investments in activewear, with Fabletics; nutrition with InBloom powder supplements, and alcohol with the alkaline water vodka brand King St.
In addition to lab-grown diamonds, the actress is also into crystals and shares a passion for sustainability and the environment with her close pal Stella McCartney.
Zoe is a fashion designer, stylist and entrepreneur. She has recently established a new vehicle for early-stage start-ups called the Access Fund. In December it invested in the luxury commerce platform The List.
In 2020 the designer teamed with The Premiere Group to create a series of fragrances that launched on her e-commerce platform ShopRachelZoe.com. She has also teamed with brands and retailers including Express and Janie and Jack.