Karen Elson stars on the first digital Only Natural Diamonds cover – WWD
Only Natural Diamonds – the multi-channel digital consumer platform powered by the Natural Diamond Council – launched its inaugural digital coverage featuring model and musician Karen Elson.
The cover marks the first for new editor Sam Broekema, who came to OND after stints at InStyle and Vanity Fair. The new digital property plans a quarterly cadence.
“The standard bearer of cultural significance is the cover,” Broekema explained. “We are thrilled to mark this season with a cover star who naturally embodies the values inherent in natural diamonds. There are few models who have the staying power of Karen Elson who defined grunge-era-cool, then became a quintessential catwalk maven, then reinvented herself as a boho songbird. Like a natural diamond, Karen steers clear of trends and transcends versatility.
The cover was shot in New York by Jennifer Livingston and will be accompanied by an exclusive interview with her face as well as a 13-page long editorial and video infused with new ideas for styling modern diamond jewelry.
“I’m very sentimental about jewelry,” Elson explains in the digital publication’s interview. “Jewellery is way more sentimental to me than, say, an item of clothing. You know, the rings I wear, the earrings I have, the things I covet. And they’re all extremely personal.
The editor said his goal with the publication was to celebrate special and unique stories around diamond jewelry. “Cover stories are such an exciting way to connect with someone who has a long history with jewelry and to tell the story in a deeper way. We have the unique opportunity to tell the story the as comprehensive as possible around diamonds while remaining completely independent of the brand,” he said.
Working with model Elson on set was “a supreme joy,” a bemused Broekema said. “She’s been photographed like so many characters by the world’s most iconic photographers, so she comes with an incredible, rich perspective. In each image, she brings a different energy or idea. She’s really magnetic.
The cover image was taken outside a pastry shop in Midtown Manhattan and, according to Broekema, the baker fell in love with Karen through the window, “like we all did on set.”
He continued, “This shoot was an opportunity for Karen to embody her own skin and how she wears natural diamonds as a musician. In each shot, you can see how she would layer diamond jewelry in creative ways that expressed her personal style.
The editorial features jewelry from Bulgari, Cartier, Birthright Foundry (participant in NDC’s Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative), Khiry (participant in NDC’s Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative), Van Cleef & Arpels, London Jewelers, Harwell Godfrey, Bucherer, Chanel , Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Mateo and Tabayer.
“There are no limits to what we can cover because natural diamonds are involved in all parts of culture,” Broekema said. The first cover story is featured today on naturaldiamonds.com.
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