The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) and famed celebrity jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz have established an initiative to help make their industry more inclusive. The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative will support Black and minority-owned jewelry designers, distributing $1 million dollars in diamond credits to help brands expand.
The new initiative will award recipients $20,000 in diamond credits to be used as a guarantor for businesses to work with partnered suppliers with the existing BIPOC brands and help new designers have a way to enter the field. The program committee will include industry veterans and celebrity advisors, including Tina Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and stylist Jason Rembert to review applications in addition to lending their expertise.
“Creativity and innovation are the forces that drive our industry forward and in order for that to happen, we need more diverse viewpoints,” said NDC CEO David Kellie in a press statement sent to BLACK ENTERPRISE. “This initiative is designed to support emerging BIPOC designers by giving them access to the diamond jewelry industry, which has traditionally been limited, and fostering their ingenuity and successes. We know that more diversity is needed in our field and that this will benefit the designers and the industry as a whole.”
In addition to the credit, the initiative states on its website that designers accepted into the program will “participate in customized mentorship and education sessions, new marketing opportunities, and gain supply chain and production know-how and resources.”
“It is past time for our industry to be more supportive and share the magic of diamonds with a larger, more diverse group of jewelers,” said Schwartz in the statement. “Helping BIPOC designers, and more specifically the underrepresented Black designer community, gain entry to diamond vendors and credit financing as well as expand their businesses is a necessary step in the process towards a more equitable industry. This program is another opportunity for me to give back to those communities that have embraced me and have been a wonderful part of my journey as a designer over the last 20 years.”
Applicants can apply through the official website to be considered.