De Beers LV retail venture engaged

The Partners has created an identity to promote diamond brand De Beers’ first foray into the consumer market, which makes its entrance with the opening of a 418m2 store at 45 Old Bond Street, London next month.

The De Beers store, designed by architect Antonio Citterio and Partners, is the first of an anticipated series of outlets in world cities selling De Beers-branded jewellery direct to consumers.

It is being developed by De Beers LV, a partnership company set up in January 2001 by De Beers Group and LVMH, owner of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton. Traditionally, the De Beers Group has promoted diamonds ‘generically’ to consumers worldwide. This continues under the Forevermark, but without any direct De Beers endorsement.

A De Beers LV spokesman says, ‘This is the first time that De Beers is putting forward a retail offer. It’s a high-end, luxury proposition [with the aim] of enabling people to buy diamond jewellery in a friendly, open and non-intimidating environment.’

The Partners managing partner Aziz Cami says the group has designed the identity and ‘brand icon’ (pictured), as well as working with Adam Morgan of consultancy Eat the Big Fish and the client team on brand positioning.

The store is expected to open in November. Interiors will mix ebony and glass and feature an open lounge area, a try-on counter and high-tech video screens.

The Partners began work on the project at the end of last year and was appointed without a formal pitch. Dew Gibbons is working on packaging.

De Beers Industrial Diamonds, recently rebranded by Landor Associates as Element Six (DW 3 October), is a completely separate company from De Beers LV.

Element Six focuses on the manufacture and supply of industrial diamonds to a business audience. Landor has had no involvement in the De Beers LV retail venture.

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