NEW YORK — After three years as creative director of De Beers LV, Reema Pachachi is leaving the joint venture between De Beers and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton this month to pursue her own projects.

This story first appeared in the July 14, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Pachachi joined the diamond jewelry house in 2001 to develop the jewelry direction for the newly created brand. Since then, she created a signature look with the Rainfall and Wildflower collections, which feature circular clusters and floral designs. Two weeks ago, Pachachi launched two De Beers capsule collections called Corsage and Cocktail Fizz at a breakfast in London.

Pachachi couldn’t be reached for comment, but said in a statement that it’s been “an extraordinary experience working on this wonderful project. I feel very privileged to have been instrumental in creating this unique brand. However, I feel today that I want to spend some time developing my own projects.”

Pachachi arrived at De Beers around the same time as Solange Azagury-Partridge at Boucheron and Jade Jagger at Garrard. Azagury-Partridge left Boucheron in May. Pachachi is expected to continue contributing special designs to De Beers LV on a freelance basis.

“Over the past three years, she has been the key creative force behind the brand,” said Guy Leymarie, chief executive officer of De Beers LV, in a statement. “She has created some highly distinctive collections, which have quickly helped establish De Beers as a major player on the diamond jewelry scene.” The De Beers LV collections aren’t sold in the U.S. yet, but are available at De Beers stores internationally.

The company did not disclose the direction it will take creatively, but plans to do so later. A De Beers LV unit is expected to open on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street in the fall of 2005.

Also, on Tuesday, De Beers, the Johannesburg, South Africa-based diamond conglomerate, pled guilty to a 10-year-old price-fixing charge in a federal district court in Columbus, Ohio. As reported, the guilty plea was expected, following several months of negotiations with the U.S. Justice Department. In addition, the international diamond firm was fined $10 million. The firm already paid $26 million a few years ago to settle civil litigation matters connected with the 1994 case.

The pleading enables De Beers to reenter the lucrative U.S. diamond market. It also allows the firm to end nearly 60 years of legal maneuvers with the Justice Department over its pricing of industrial diamonds.

— Marc Karimzadeh and Vicki M. Young