Meet The Next Group to Join the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative for 2022
The Natural Diamond Council and Lorraine Schwartz are pleased to announce the second group of designers selected to participate in the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative. Each EDDI designer will participate in the year-long program and receive a $20,000 diamond financing credit, diamond education, mentorship, access to resources such as production, marketing, finance, legal, HR and supply chain, retail and sales support, promoted content on NDC’s channels, PR and social media opportunities and more as they create diamond jewelry collections. Scroll down to meet them!
How You Can Apply
The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative will continue to accept applications, with plans to introduce the next selection of designers in 2022. Applicants must be U.S. based and in business for at least one year (designers do not have to work with diamonds at present). Additional details and the application can be found at naturaldiamonds.com/eddiapplication.
Casey Perez Jewelry
First generation Mexican-American designer Casey Perez found her way to jewelry unexpectedly. While studying art history and psychology at New York University, she stumbled across a metalsmithing course where she learned centuries-old jewelry making techniques to transform raw materials and bring her ideas to life. It was this alchemical process that captured her heart and inspired her to embark on a new path.
Casey’s love of art and design greatly informs her work, drawing inspiration from an artful lexicon of influences ranging from modernist architecture, the Bauhaus and Memphis movements, to Swedish minimalism. The results are unique handcrafted pieces that are at once visual explorations and intimate expressions.
Corey Anthony Jones
Los Angeles native and jewelry designer Corey Anthony Jones was born a natural entrepreneur. Corey spent his childhood imaging, creating, and designing everything from cars, t-shirts, to roller blades. As a kid, his mother took him along to the family jeweler, and on each trip his passion for jewelry grew stronger. During one of the visits, Corey created a unique design of his own at 11 years old. Upon seeing his design come to life, he decided to be a jeweler.
Corey excelled in sports and earned an athletic scholarship to Clark Atlanta University where he majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management. During college, he landed an internship with Reebok which led to a corporate position where he learned the inner workings of the fashion industry. He then took his experience and decided to focus on his childhood passion of jewelry.
Corey studied design at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA and realized that being a designer was truly his calling. Corey draws inspiration from his childhood, art, architecture, pop culture, and spatial design.
With a background in the arts and fashion, Lana Ogilvie has developed an eye for style that goes beyond the current trends. Lana was the first ethnic model to sign an exclusive contract with CoverGirl cosmetics, and was a regular face in the pages of Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. Lana was also a runway model for celebrated designers such as Azzedine Alaia, Gianfranco Ferre, John Galliano, and Issey Miyake. She later moved to television, where she was a segment producer and on-camera host at Fashion Television, as well as the fashion expert for Toronto- based morning programs.
Lana studied illustration and print making at the Art Gallery of Ontario and furthered her Fine Art studies in Illustration at Concordia University in Montreal. Her move into jewelry was born from a creative need. After studying to be a bench jeweler, Lana started Sabre Jewelry, a line of handmade jewelry.
From molten liquid cuffs to origami inspired rings, and bangles that appear to be hand rolled metal, all pieces are organic and unique. Lana works with wax in unconventional ways, and designs pieces that are individual, almost as if the metal has been worked by hand. Lana continues to work as a television host and model while creating her jewelry collection. Sabre Jewelry is handmade in New York City.
Mckenzie Liautaud Jewelry
Mckenzie Liautaud, a Haitian American designer, launched a collection of men’s accessories in 2010, including bespoke bow ties and pocket squares made of recycled fabrics embellished with hardware and crystals. After achieving success with the collection, he introduced women’s jewelry.
Mckenzie’s first collection ‘Tribal Disruption’ examined the relationship between tribal
style and western design. He draws inspiration from his travels around the globe, finding the heartbeat of each collection through inspiration he discovers along the way.
Mckenzie has collaborated with designers Pyer Moss, Donna Karan and La Ligne. His multicultural style has caught the attention of celebrities including Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Sarah Jessica Parker, Billy Porter, Shakira and Maluma. Mckenzie’s goal is to bring balance and harmony to the world as he builds a conscious brand, each Mckenzie Liautaud piece is beautifully handcrafted using ethically sourced precious and semi-precious materials.
Heart The Stones
Halle longed to nurture her creative side after receiving a degree in Biology from Simmons College and conducting research with the National Human Genome Center in Washington, D.C. A few life-changing conversations later, she decided to pursue her dream of being a jewelry designer. Halle took courses in wax carving, silversmithing, and design, and then left her career
to become a full-time student at the Fashion Institute of Technology. While at FIT, Halle studied under master jewelry designers from Tiffany, Harry Winston, and Van Cleef & Arpels. After FIT, Halle worked as a designer for licensed brands under Liz Claiborne and at a leading sterling silver designer.
In 2015, Halle accepted a position at Fossil, to help develop the aesthetic, marketing, and narrative design for the Michael Kors, Skagen and Fossil jewelry brands, where she currently serves as Associate Creative Director. She is also the creator of Heart The Stones, a fine jewelry line that celebrates bravery in unexpected ways. Halle lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and two young sons.
Ruben Manuel Designs
Ruben Manuel opened his eponymous company, Ruben Manuel Designs in 2005. After a corporate career in the high tech industry, he transitioned to a creative role as a jewelry designer. Ruben’s Mexican heritage has influenced his love of colorful diamonds and gemstones and as a Native American descendant, he also incorporates silver and turquoise in non-traditional ways. Ruben is represented by galleries in his home state of Colorado and designs mostly custom pieces.
His aesthetic is colorful and bold and his jewelry often can be worn in multiple ways. While Ruben’s custom designs are both sophisticated and daring, they are undeniably fun and joyful, bringing a smile to the wearer as well as the viewer.