Head of Design at one the world’s most prestigious jewelry brands, De Beers Jewellers, Grace Lepard, gives us an exclusive look into the brand’s most coveted collections and how the brand is moving forward.
As Head of Design at De Beers Jewellers, one of the world’s leading diamond companies, what is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is the creation of our high jewelry collections, in particular coming up with the design concepts and working on the diamond layouts for individual pieces. At De Beers, we consider diamonds to be nature’s works of art, which is why many of our collections explore natural themes, while reflecting the mythological and historical symbolism of diamonds. To date, my favorite high jewelry collection is ‘Portraits of Nature’ which explores the various textures of animals through the use of rough and polished diamonds, as well as fancy colors.
If you had to describe the brand in just a few short words what would they be?
Diamond mentor, timeless, elegant, expressive, contemporary and passionate.
What is your most prized De Beers creation, and why?
My most prized De Beers creation is the Vulcan necklace. Inspired by the flow of volcanic lava, the piece is created from cascading lines of rough and polished fancy color diamonds ending with five pear-shaped diamond drops. It is one of the first high jewelry pieces that I designed and to me, the necklace’s combination of rough and polished diamonds is a true embodiment of our brand DNA. Additionally, creating the color scheme and diamond layout for this piece was one of my most memorable moments at De Beers.
How has the brand adapted during these most unique times?
I think that 2020 has given everybody a chance to slow down and reflect on existing systems. As a brand, we have focused on staying close to our clients through the digital world. We noticed a demand for educational facts around diamonds on social media and responded to this with a series of new features on our Instagram page. We also re-launched our global flagship debeers.com, with an expanded selection of diamond jewelry available for purchase online – including, for the first time, engagement rings and high jewelry pieces. Furthermore, our new virtual appointments give clients the opportunity to enjoy their shopping experience from the comfort of their home.
Can you share a few highlights from your upcoming collections—from fashion to high jewelry?
This year, we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of our Dewdrop collection and we have been working on some exciting new designs to mark this special occasion. Keeping in line with the existing collection, these new pieces look to fresh drops of morning dew for inspiration and explore the various ways this iconic design can be reinvented through new functionalities.
I am also extremely excited about the launch of the upcoming High Jewelry collection. Without giving too much away, the collection looks to a theme which I feel particularly strongly about and is also relevant to recent movements in our modern society. We have been even more experimental with our choice of diamond color, content and setting techniques.
What does every Bal Harbour jewelry shopper need to have this season?
The rose gold Horizon pendant is one of my must-haves. Inspired by the horizon line’s beautiful symbolism of endless possibilities, the necklace features a central micropavé diamond band suspended between two polished rings. The moveable horizon motif on the chain allows you to wear it at different lengths giving you the option to transform the necklace from a longer style to a playful choker. It can even be worn backwards, for example with an open back dress. Matching the pendant’s versatility, our rose gold Horizon ear cuff holds with a clip, allowing for it to be placed anywhere on the ear. Both styles offer you a modern way of wearing diamond jewelry every day.
Can you speak to the investment value of jewelry, why buying a diamond necklace, for instance, is a smart decision right now?
There is a good reason why fancy color diamonds are being sought after by so many investors. With the decrease of global supply, fancy colour diamonds are becoming rarer and consequently, more sought after. The last decade has shown a growing record of sales of rare colored diamonds, especially how they have withstood the recession and how they stay desirable today.