From the ultra-glamorous $2.5 million 115-carat Colombian emerald earrings set worn at the Oscars by Academy Award-nominee Angelina Jolie, to the space-age robotic glove designed exclusively for singer Beyonce: helping super-celebrities sculpt their signature style is American jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz. She’s made house calls to Elizabeth Taylor and has fashioned diamond tiaras for royalty. Fashion icons and celebrities Heidi Klum, Barbara Streisand, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Biel and Cate Blanchett have all worn her designs that make diamonds and gems look young and chic.
It’s no surprise that women who want to look like a million dollars turn to Schwartz, whose family has been in the diamond business in New York for generations. Her provocative creations turn heads: "Some people don't believe it's real," says Schwartz to InStyle Magazine. "We make the metal so fine that the light shines through.” Years in the jewelry design business herself, Schwartz caught the eye of the Hollywood A-list crowd when Halle Berry chose one of Schwartz’s designs at the Golden Globe awards in 2002.
From the get go, Schwartz decided she would earn acclaim on merit alone, and unlike other designers, she would not to pay celebrities to wear her jewelry. She also decided not to vie for a spot on the red carpet by offering her designs as part of a gift bag. Why should she? Schwartz’s personality and discerning taste shines through in her ethereal creations crafted from precious stones and diamonds, and which can be purchased by appointment only through her 5th Avenue showroom in New York’s Diamond District.
Beyond the Fort Knox style security, in her showroom, visitors get an up-close and personal experience with Schwartz’s gems and baubles, which she keeps on the table for guests to touch. There, you might find jade, titanium, blue topaz diamonds, black diamonds, and pink gold. Nothing is kept in a glass display case.
Three generations in Schwartz's family have worked in Manhattan’s diamond trade, she tells NPR. And she’s not really sure what her grandfather would think of her: some rap stars have given her the moniker, “Queen of Bling.”
Photo Credit: www.diamondring.com, BaderTV
"We are making our own statement, and I think my mother is probably smiling because she sees a lot of herself in what I do. We're making a little bit of history," she says.
Her work isn’t just for people who sit on golden pedestals: The department store Bergdorf Goodman has carried some of Schwartz’s designs, such as her Diamond Money Collection launched in 2007. It was inspired, she says, by the popular expression See no Evil. Hear no Evil. Speak no Evil. It is not only aesthetically pleasing, but bears a spiritual significance: “The concept behind see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil is a means to leading a peaceful, positive life,” she says. “Wearing this emblem is a constant reminder of these three mantras and helps keep you grounded by empowering you to take charge of your emotions and block out negativity.”
Some of her most notable items include a 20 carat yellow diamond cocktail ring, 40 carats worth of natural iridescent diamond earrings, or a $2 million dollar 30 carat canary emerald cut diamond platinum ring, making most of Schwartz’s pieces available only to those who have no upper income cap for furnishing their desires. A trendsetter by design, Schwartz has always said that quality craftsmanship and excellent taste is the formula for success in the jewelry design business. She’s no doubt a role model to young designers everywhere, since her approach is clearly paying off.
Did you know that Lorraine Schwatz is an acclaimed member of the CFDA?
Lorraine Schwartz is one of New York City’s important names in designer diamond jewelry.
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