Greenwich St. Jewelers Partners with The Natural Diamond Council to Showcase BIPOC Designers
Greenwich St. Jewelers opened their doors in downtown NYC in 1976. A family-owned store, the legacy is kept alive by sisters Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia-Gambale, children of immigrants from Puerto Rico. Their story as first-generation sisters is what essentially inspires them. So, they are thrilled to partner with The Natural Diamond Council’s Emerging Designer Diamond Initiative (EDDI). The initiative consists of five BIPOC jewelry designers and debuted at Greenwich St. Jewelers today.
Jennifer Gandia tells EDITION, “We are devoted to highlighting the incredible talent of the global majority in fine jewelry, knowing intimately that designers with culture bring an innovative and exceptional point of view to the luxury world."
For the project, five designers were given a $20,000 diamond credit, retail opportunities, selling support, diamond education, funding for production, plus in-depth mentorship alongside industry experts. “The EDDI project is a natural extension of our years-long effort to build a brand that celebrates the work of fine jewelry designers from a diverse array of backgrounds and aesthetics,” Gandia says. “Each designer has such a defined point of view that they've expressed brilliantly in their collections.”
Here is a glimpse at some of the amazing work of the five designers that will be carried at Greenwich St. Jewelers:
Malyia McNaughton of Made by Malyia creates pieces with an ethereal and organic quality; this is especially true with the Two-Finger Diamond Wave Ring and the Progression Diamond Constellation Hoop Earrings. In addition, many of McNaughton’s jewelry contains both gold and silver elements, which makes them quite playful.
Marvin Linares of Marvin Douglas Jewelry has necklaces you can wear solo or stacked together. His pendants have a texture that brings life to the necklace, and the diamonds add a delicate sparkle to the piece.
When asked what Greenwich St. Jewelers hopes to achieve from the initiative, Gandia says, “We're passionate about emerging artists, so getting involved with the initiative seemed like a natural fit. We felt very strongly that these collections should be experienced in-store, available for everyone to come in and try on, hopefully, fall in love with and make their own!”
Lisette Scott’s Jam + Rico has a tropical flair to her designs, as many of the rings, earrings, and necklaces resemble seashells and other plants you would find at the beach.
“Our great hope is that the world of fine jewelry becomes more divergent, and given the conditions, it needs to grow in extraordinary ways,” says Gandia. All of the pieces within the EDDI collection all carry such originality and freshness, something that can only be accomplished when new designers are uplifted and given the platform to create excellent work.
In Dorian Webb’s designs, organic elements of the beach and abstract shapes are created within the jewelry. The collection's abstract tone can be seen in the Trellis Diamond Ear Bars and Trellis Diamond Dome Ring. The asymmetry in the ring adds a fresh uniqueness to the piece.
Finally, in Constance Polamalu of Birthright Foundry, her jewelry details celestial features, with many of them reminding us of the stars and galaxy. Both of her pendants within the collection balance between edgy and elegant.
It’s incredible to see how strong and varied each designer's aesthetic is. “This closely mirrors what we aim to achieve in our selection of designers, curating makers with strong aesthetics spanning many different styles of design - design diversity. Each collection is exciting, and there is something for everyone, from a design perspective,” Gandia adds.
Both Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia-Gambale’s story is moving. Gandia states, “Immigrants are hard-wired to survive. They sacrifice so much to make a better life for their children." Gandia also highlights how rewarding yet challenging the journey has been for her and her family. She says, “We reach high and have had to be scrappy, turning modest means into the illusion of much more. I think many children of immigrants will relate to this kind of magic-making: it's a creative strength born of necessity, will, and desire”.
The work and immaculate designs of Greenwich St. Jewelers will continue to elevate throughout the year as they showcase these incredible designers.