Skip To Content
May 01, 2024

Introducing the Luminaries by COUTURE

e are thrilled to announce the debut of the Luminaries by COUTURE to our 2024 event. A representation of six of the seven mentees who make up the second mentorship program spearheaded by the COUTURE Diversity Action Council (DAC), these BIPOC designers will showcase a range of imaginative designs and singular points of view on the COUTURE show floor. Hailing from a range of backgrounds and experiences, the group also presents a diversity of aesthetics, price points and approaches to the design process. From experts in CAD to seasoned bench jewelers to gemstone aficionados, each of these designers has chosen jewelry design as the medium for expressing their unique world view.

From experts in CAD to seasoned bench jewelers to gemstone aficionados, each of these designers has chosen jewelry design as the medium for expressing their unique world view.

“We are thrilled to welcome this collective of creatives to COUTURE,” enthused Gannon Brousseau, COUTURE Director and EVP, Emerald. “One of our guiding principles is our commitment to championing and fostering fresh talent, and the work of each of these designers showcases both acumen and an expansive understanding of jewelry as an art form. We are proud they have entrusted the COUTURE community with sharing a glimpse into the cultural influences and personal journeys that have informed their collections.”

The designers who make up the Luminaries by COUTURE are Alexia Connellan, Ama McKinley of Ilium Wing, Bliss Lau, Casey Perez, Hiba Husayni of ZAHN-Z Fine Jewelry and Sasha Flynn of Adore-Adorn. Individual artist Biographies of each of these designers can be found here. (Ope Omojola of Octave Jewelry continues to be a part of the program but will not be participating at this year’s COUTURE.) Each of these designers have been engaged in the program since April of 2023. In addition to their one-on-one pairings with their mentors, and visiting COUTURE 2023 in an observational capacity, the collective has also engaged in bi-weekly education led by industry experts covering a variety of subjects, from finance to merchandising and everything in between.

“It has been absolutely delightful to witness the evolution of this group of mentees,” noted Eric Ford, Precious Jewelry Buyer of Neiman Marcus, who leads COUTURE’s Diversity Action Council. “While I’m impressed with the wealth of knowledge and talent they already possessed when they joined the program, I am even more impressed with the knowledge they have sought throughout; sometimes knowing what you don’t know is the biggest challenge! It is also heartening to see how close they have grown on a personal level; they truly love one another and extend themselves to support one another’s success. That is a rare thing in this world, and it is beautiful!”

ZAHN-Z Jewelry's "Zaha" ring in platinum

Platinum Guild International (PGI) extended their seminal (it’s now fair to say!) Platinum Spotlight program to this collective of designers, providing those who opted in with platinum with which they could create pieces for their COUTURE debut. Ama McKinley, Bliss Lau and Hiba Husayni took advantage of the opportunity to create bespoke work with the naturally white metal. “The unique qualities of platinum open the door to unlimited diversity in jewelry design,” explains Kevin Reilly, SVP, PGI USA. “We are honored that these Couture Luminaries are expressing their artistry in platinum. And just like fine art, these platinum creations will last for generations.”

Additionally, De Beers is supporting the Luminaries by COUTURE on a fundamental level by sponsoring the salon build where the group will be showcasing their jewelry, ensuring the designers’ designs will be on display in an environment befitting the quality and creativity of their work. “De Beers Group is proud to support the Luminaries by COUTURE as representatives of the next generation of fine jewelers,” noted Sally Morrison, Director of PR for Natural Diamonds. “New voices that bring diverse perspectives to our craft deserve our whole industry’s nurture and attention.”

The Luminaries by COUTURE will be on display in Salon 634. Individual Brand Spotlights on each of these incredible designers can be found here.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.