Meet the 6 Designers Selected for the 2023 Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative

The EDDI program provides designers with unprecedented access to education, opportunities and resources.

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Top row from left to right: Bernard James, Amina Sorel, Kristina Buckley Kayel (Managing Director of Natural Diamond Council) Bottom row from left to right: Symoné Currie, Jessenia Landrum, Gwen Beloti, Rosario Navia Photo Credit: Andrew Werner

The 2023 Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative (EDDI) participants have been announced, and these talented designers are well on their way to becoming household names in the world of fine jewelry.  

Launched in 2021 by the Natural Diamond Council and jewelry designer to the stars Lorraine Schwartz, the EDDI program provides Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) jewelry designers with unprecedented access to education, opportunities, and resources. This year’s class includes Amina Sorel (Amina Sorel Fine Jewelry), Bernard James (Bernard James Jewelry), Gwen Beloti (Gwen Beloti Collection), Jessenia Landrum (Jevela), Rosario Navia and ymoné Currie (Metal x Wire).

Amina Sorel (Amina Sorel Fine Jewelry)
Bernard James (Bernard James Jewelry)
Gwen Beloti (Gwen Beloti Collection)
Jessenia Landrum (Jevela)
Symoné Currie (Metal x Wire)

As part of the program, designers receive a $20,000 diamond credit at cost, retail opportunities, selling support, press opportunities, and diamond education. They also receive monetary funds for production, CADs, and sampling are provided to eliminate upfront costs to each designer. The designers are paired with industry mentors to learn the ins and outs of the industry, and they are also partnered with diamantaires to establish a line of industry diamond credit in their own names to select the natural diamonds that work best for them and their collections.

“We are thrilled to partner with the next inspiring group of jewelry designers as part of the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative,” says Kristina Buckley Kayel, Managing Director of Natural Diamond Council. “The program continues to evolve and yield transformative outcomes for the designers. We are incredibly proud and committed to provide these designers of color with all the tools and mentorship they need to achieve successful and sustainable businesses.”

Previous EDDI participants have had their natural diamond jewelry created during the program sold on Moda Operandi, Greenwich St. Jewelers, 1st Dibs and Gemist, and worn by Bad Bunny in Vogue, Law Roach at the Met Gala, Winston Duke in Esquire Magazine and Lizzo at the Met Gala and on Saturday Night Live.

“Congratulations to the new class of designers. I look forward to seeing their creativity come to life, and I am so excited to see where it leads them to. It’s been great to work with so many talented emerging designers over the past two years, and inspiring as well,” says Lorraine Schwartz.

As part of the EDDI program, the designers will create and launch a natural diamond jewelry capsule collection and will also be invited to present at this year’s Luxury by JCK Show, taking place May 31 – June 5 in Las Vegas.

Applications for the 2024 program are open and accepted on a rolling basis and jewelry designers within the BIPOC community are encouraged to apply here.