De Beers CEO Hamida Belkadi
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Allison Weiss Brady interviews De Beers CEO Hamida Belkadi to get the inside scoop on the store’s Fashion’s Night Out event co-hosted by Jill Viner to benefit Gene Spotlight on September 10th at Bal Harbour Shops.
AWB: Being draped in De Beers jewels is a dream come true! What pieces in your Bal Harbour store best reflect Miami’s culture and style?
Great question! I would say the new pieces of the Talisman Collection we are launching on September 10th capture Miami’s glamorous, yet laid-back lifestyle. The pieces are beautifully hand crafted in yellow or white 18 karat gold, set with a combination of rough and polished diamonds using a unique hand-crafted setting. It allows for maximum brilliance and light. Under the Miami sun, they will glimmer by day while sparkling by night under the moonlight.
AWB: How would you describe your ideal South Florida client?
A diamond lover. Someone who understands the quality of our stones and the labor-intense craftsmanship that goes into our hand-made pieces.
AWB: Which De Beers pieces can be worn everyday and would work well for “day-to-night” looks?
The simplicity of De Beers’ classic stud earrings makes them the perfect pieces to be worn from day to night. Additionally, pieces from the new Clea collection would work well as well. The jewelry mixes round brilliant and pear-shaped diamonds creating a twinkle effect like clear morning dew formed throughout the night. Moreover, pieces from the Reverie collection are very easy to wear for any occasion.
AWB: Your company slogan “A Diamond is Forever” was named by Advertising Age magazine as the best advertising slogan of the twentieth century. Definitely a catchy logo, but with all the jewelry stores in Bal Harbour Shops, what sets De Beers apart as a must-shop destination?
Unlike most jewelry stores, De Beers carries exclusively diamond jewelry, making it the destination to discover the allure and mystique of diamonds. With its peerless heritage of over 120 years of diamond expertise, De Beers is uniquely positioned to bring to life the power and romance of diamonds and to make your diamond experience inspiring. De Beers goes well beyond the 4C’s to capture Fire, Life, and Brilliance and provide the best diamonds in the world. Selecting the world’s finest diamonds is the De Beers difference. De Beers offers the Beauty Scan, enabling our clients to view diamonds through the eyes of an expert, providing the visual proof of the beauty and maximum sparkle of our diamonds. Additionally, we are the only jewelry house that guarantees that our diamonds are conflict free.
AWB: Describe the gorgeous Talisman pendant and chain for auction at your September 10th Bal Harbour event where 100 percent of the sale of that item will benefit the non-profit Gene Spotlight?
Talisman is an extraordinary collection for De Beers. For centuries, rough diamonds were the exclusive privilege of Kings and Queens, said to protect, bring good luck and prosperity. In 2005, De Beers pioneered the introduction of rough diamonds into modern jewelry with the launch of The Talisman Collection. This Talisman Pendant that De Beers is auctioning has mirror finished yellow gold, with a rough center stone, polished white and brown diamonds beautifully arranged in a glimmering effect, like the rays of sunlight. It also possesses a unique hand-made setting, giving the appearance of diamond dust floating on the pendant. It is 3.27 carats diamonds, set in yellow gold. (See photo for pendant and chain being auctioned for the Sept. 10th event).
AWB: Why is it important for De Beers to support charities?
De Beers sees the importance in making contribution to society. It is always rewarding to be able to give back to the community and to support charities for a positive cause. For instance, for the Love Ball in February, 2010, Natalia Vodianova and De Beers created The De Beers Magic Moment Necklace in support of the Naked Heart Foundation. The Magic Moment Necklace is a one of a kind piece of stunning diamond jewelry, featuring a 1.10 carat fancy intense pink heart-shaped diamond seamlessly paired with a 3.06 carat white heart-shaped diamond and hand set in delicate micropave adding texture and depth. Money raised from the Ball’s auction will benefit Naked Heart Foundation, Natalia’s charity.
Then on September 10th, we will be supporting the Gene Spotlight non-profit organization, which will provide medical research grants to find better treatments and cures for some of the 7,000 rare genetic disorders including lysosomal storage diseases, uncommon cancers, and other orphan diseases affecting 25 million Americans.
AWB: Any advice on how to choose the right jewels to wear with a gala-worthy gown?
Diamonds are always a safe choice. Any lady would look amazing wearing diamond jewelry! It is also a matter of personal preference. We have a wide selection of simple, elegant jewelry as well as dramatic fashion statements. An elaborate gown may only require a line necklace, which is classic yet elegantly striking. On the other hand, a simple dress may be dressed up with a more elaborate piece, such as the Lea necklace from our High End Collection. The pendant portion of the Lea necklace is removable, transforming the piece into a reinterpreted line necklace.
–The September 10th event, co-hosted by philanthropist Jill Viner, is by invitation only. For further information, please contact FNOBalHarbourShops@debeers.com.
Allison Weiss Brady handles marketing for celebrities and non-profits. She is active in many organizations in South Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania including Big Brother Big Sister, The Community Coalition, Voices Against Brain Cancer, Gene Spotlight, The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation, and one of her family’s foundations Say Yes to Education, which recently partnered with Quincy Jones. Allison sits on the board of Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and she and her husband Chip Brady were honored by Russell Simmons at the 2010 Rush Philanthropic gala in East Hampton. She and her husband Chip are members of Art Basel’s Junior Host Committee and Allison is a member of the Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon Founding Committee. Allison was also the sole recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s 2008 Young Alumni of the Year Award, and serves on the Overseers board for the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.