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Forevermark Names CEO

She’s stepping up from the role of COO.

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Forevermark has announced that Nancy Liu will become its CEO, stepping up from her current role as chief operating officer.

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Liu said: “At Forevermark we’ve come a very long way in a very short space of time, yet we believe the future will be even more exciting. The brand has taken a number of bold steps in recent years, and the positive consumer response to these show that there’s a real resonance with our approach. As we continue to develop consumer concepts, campaigns, products and designs, Forevermark will play a vital role in the diamond ecosystem for diamantaires, designers, jewelers and consumers, and I’m delighted I’ll be leading the business as it writes its next chapter.”

Nancy Liu

Liu has served as Forevermark’s president of Asia Pacific for 11 years, and she was responsible for overseeing the brand’s global launch in China.

She was appointed COO of Forevermark and member of the De Beers Executive Committee in August 2017.

Prior to her tenure at Forevermark, Liu specialized in corporate management at The Boston Consulting Group, consulting global luxury brands with the aim to develop their businesses in China. Previously, Liu was the vice president of merchandising at Louis Vuitton Asia Pacific, servicing Louis Vuitton across 14 countries, and general manager for the LVMH Watch and Jewelry division managing TAG Heuer, Zenith, Dior, Ebel, Chaumet and Fendi.

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Stephen Lussier, executive vice president of consumer and brands for De Beers Group, will continue to oversee the strategic role Forevermark plays within the Group’s brand portfolio as Forevermark chairman. By stepping away from the day-to-day accountability for Forevermark, Lussier will be able to increase his focus on shaping De Beers Group’s strategy at the consumer level.

Lussier said: “This is a moment of great opportunity for diamonds. As symbols of nature, uniqueness and positive social impact, they have huge potential to inspire consumers of all ages, and with a new CEO at the helm for Forevermark I will be able to spend more time ensuring we build even stronger consumer connections with these miracles of nature across all our activities.

“Fortunately, we have an outstanding candidate to take over as CEO of Forevermark. As the brand sees rapid growth in Asia, Nancy’s exceptional expertise and knowledge of the region provide us with excellent continuity as Forevermark goes from strength to strength.”

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The Big Survey 2019: Top Jewelry Brands Revealed

This year marks a three-peat.

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WE ASKED OUR 802 Big Survey respondents, “What are the three best performing brand-name jewelry lines that you carry?”, and these were the top 20 brands mentioned. Interestingly, Gabriel & Co. and Stuller made it a three-peat, claiming the top two spots in our rankings for the third year in a row. Allison-Kaufman moved up a spot from 4 to 3, and Simon G. was a big leaper, jumping all the way to number 5 from 20 in 2018. (Total votes included in parentheses)

2019 RANK / BRAND2018 RANKCHANGE IN RANK
1. Gabriel & Co. (64)1
2. Stuller (41)2
3. Allison-Kaufman (29)4up 1
4. Hearts On Fire (18)3down 1
5. Simon G. (15)20up 15
6 tie. Pandora (14)6
6 tie. Ostbye (14)10up 4
8 tie. John Hardy (13)9up 1
8 tie. Lashbrook (13)15up 7
10 tie. Benchmark (12)8down 2
10 tie. Frederic Duclos (12)11up 1
12 tie. Roberto Coin (11)23up 11
12 tie. Sylvie Collection (11)22up 10
12 tie. ASHI Diamonds (11)23up 11
15 tie. Berco (10)23up 8
15 tie. Tacori (10)outside top 25 
17 tie. ArtCarved (9)7down 10
17 tie. Le Vian (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. Officina Bernardi (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. SDC Creations (9)15down 2
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Jewelry Brand Opens 2 Brick-and-Mortar Stores Following $13M Investment Round

They’re located in New York.

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AUrate, a New York based direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand, plans to use part of the $13 million that it recently raised to build a brick-and-mortar presence.

The company is opening two permanent stores in New York City, Women’s Wear Daily reports. They’ll be located in SoHo and on Madison Avenue.

They’ll “feature experiential technology that introduces consumers to the raw materials and production methods enlisted to create Aurate jewelry,” according to the report.

They were set to open Oct. 12.

AUrate announced in late June that it had completed a $13 million investment round. With the Series A funding, led by Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital, the company said it planned to expand its online and offline operations and direct investment in technology. Additional participants included Point King Capital, Arab Angel Fund and Drake Management.

AUrate soft-launched in 2015, when co-founders Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn held full-time jobs at Goldman Sachs & Marc Jacobs, respectively.

The brand was officially launched in 2017, with both online and offline stores. The co-founders went on to raise $2.6M in a seed round.

Read more at Women’s Wear Daily

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De Beers Lab-Grown Diamonds to Make Brick-and-Mortar Debut

It’s a test run that will begin this month.

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Lab-grown diamonds from De Beers-owned Lightbox will soon be available at certain Bloomingdale’s and Reeds Jewelers stores.

It’s a test run that will begin this month, Forbes reports. The effort marks Lightbox’s brick-and-mortar debut.

Lightbox pieces are lab-grown diamonds set in accessibly priced fashion jewelry. They’ve been sold since September 2018 online and in pop-up shops.

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The pieces will be sold at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship in New York and its San Francisco location store. And they’ll be available at 30 Reeds Jewelers, primarily in the Southeast, Forbes reports.

The trial is expected to last as long as six months.

Lightbox debuted in 2018 with products priced from $200 for a quarter-carat stone to $800 for a one-carat stone. It started with pink, blue and white lab-grown diamonds in a selection of earring and necklace designs, and the company later said it was expanding the line with bracelets and stackable rings.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers, said last year that Lightbox would “transform the lab-grown diamond sector by offering consumers a lab-grown product they have told us they want but aren’t getting: affordable fashion jewelry that may not be forever, but is perfect for right now.”

The move to brick-and-mortar is no surprise. Lightbox Managing Director Steve Coe announced at the JCK Las Vegas show in June that he expected to begin market testing the brand in retail stores this year. After the company’s $94 million plant in Gresham, OR, goes online in 2020, production will increase and the brand will be offered to a broad range of retailers by 2021. Color offerings and jewelry-design styles will likely be expanded as well.

Coe said consumer research has backed up the De Beers belief that laboratory-grown diamonds work best as fashion accessories for everyday wear, and not for significant occasions, such as engagement, for which consumers say they prefer natural diamonds.

Read more at Forbes

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