The Luminaries Shining Bright at Couture

May 21, 2024   |  Alex O Dea

Six participants in the Couture Diversity Action Council’s (DAC’s) mentorship program are set to showcase their jewelry at the 2024 event.

Showing as “the Luminaries by Couture”, the BIPOC creatives have been receiving mentorship since April 2023, as part of a program organized by the Diversity Action Council (DAC), which was founded in 2020 to help address the systemic racism that has contributed to a lack of diversity in the fine jewelry industry.

Having visited Couture 2023, and received one-on-one mentorship and guidance from industry experts, the six designers will exhibit their pieces on the Couture show floor in 2024. All hailing from different backgrounds, the group also presents a diversity of aesthetics, price points and approaches to the design process.

The Luminaries by Couture are:

Alexia Connellan
Of Jamaican descent, the jewelry designer will show pieces from her core collection in platinum, 18-karat gold and vivid colored gemstones.

Alexia Connellan East End ring set with a labradorite and diamonds. (Alexia Connellan)
Alexia Connellan East End ring set with a labradorite and diamonds. (Alexia Connellan)

Adore Adorn
Designer Sasha Flynn, who is of African and Lebanese descent, will debut a collection that draws on the meaning of ancient symbols, crafted in 14-karat gold and gemstones.

Adore Adorn Reava coin necklace with moonstone and enamel in 14-karat gold plated and silver. (Adore Adorn)
Adore Adorn Reava coin necklace with moonstone and enamel in 14-karat gold plated and silver. (Adore Adorn)

Zahn-Z
Syrian-American jewelry designer Hiba Husayni will present two collections: Sadaf is inspired by the lattice work of carved wooden screens, while Zaha pays homage to the work of architect Zaha Hadid in gold and gemstones.

Zahn-Z Zaha ring set with a grey spinel in 14-karat gold. (Zahn-Z)
Zahn-Z Zaha ring set with a grey spinel in 14-karat gold. (Zahn-Z)

Bliss Lau
The designer grew up in Honolulu and describes herself as a “New Yorker whose heart is still floating in the middle of the ocean in Hawaii”. At Couture, her designs will include pieces in three colors of jade.

Bliss Lau Mirage + Reflection ring set with emeralds and diamonds. (Bliss Lau)
Bliss Lau Mirage + Reflection ring set with emeralds and diamonds. (Bliss Lau)

Ilium Wing
Designer Ama McKinley draws on Lucumi/Ifa African spiritual traditions to inform her jewelry designs. At Couture, some of her beaded pieces will incorporate sustainably and ethically reclaimed natural bone.

Ilium Wing beaded necklace. (Ilium Wing)
Ilium Wing beaded necklace. (Ilium Wing)

Casey Perez
The Mexican-American designer is expanding her Arcos collection, crafted in 18-karat yellow gold and natural diamonds, for her Couture debut.

Casey Perez Monte ring with diamond in 18-karat gold. (Casey Perez)
Casey Perez Monte ring with diamond in 18-karat gold. (Casey Perez)

Platinum Guild International extended its Platinum Spotlight program to the designers for the event. The three who opted in — Lau, Husayni and McKinley — were supplied with platinum to create pieces for Couture. Meanwhile, De Beers has sponsored the build of the salon where the group will showcase their jewelry. The Luminaries by Couture will show at Couture, from May 29 to June 2 at the Wynn Las Vegas.

Main image: Casey Perez Tierra pendant in 18-karat gold with diamonds. (Casey Perez)

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