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Here’s a lab-grown diamond startup that’s attracted a16z’s attention

  • April 24, 2024

Throughout hip-hop’s long history, jewelry has served as an important vehicle for artists to convey their ideas and affluence, or simply to dazzle onlookers. Diamonds, in particular, serve as an important motif, famously exemplified by Drake’s $400,000 diamond-encrusted iPhone case.

But not everyone is a millionaire rapper, and most people can’t exactly afford to wear bust down watches flooded with ice. Still, there’s certainly a market for such jewelry at a lower price point, and venture capitalists appear to have noticed it: A direct-to-consumer diamond jewelry startup called Pascal has raised nearly $10 million in VC funding to date, of which $2.5 million came from Andreessen Horowitz in early 2023, TechCrunch has learned.

What’s more, the company expects to generate $20-$30 million in revenue this year, and has a three-month customer repurchase rate of roughly 20%, according to its founder and CEO, Adam Hua.

Pascal’s pitch is that it can make diamond jewelry accessible by using lab-grown diamonds that are chemically and physically akin to natural diamonds but cost one-twentieth of the price. The company’s gem-studded jewelry starts at as little as $70, and it is hoping using cultivated diamonds will help it gain a foothold in the more affordable segment of the wider jewelry market.

“Diamond is unique to hip-hop; it’s a status symbol. But most people cannot afford diamonds,” Hua said. “Cultivated diamonds fundamentally transform the supply side of the industry.”

Synthetic diamonds have been around since the 1950s, and they’ve been often used to make high-carat jewelry. These diamonds are usually “grown” in labs, where extreme forces and heat are applied to graphite, similar to the process that gives rise to naturally occurring diamonds. Manufacturers of lab-grown diamonds often also like to tout their more environmentally friendly process, and some even take their missions a

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How fashion tries to be sustainable by giving a second life to deadstocks

  • April 23, 2024

At the Nona Source showroom in northern Paris, designers pick through luxurious textiles with ornate names: curly alpaca, geometrical macrame guipure, silk diamond cloque Jacquard.

What makes them really exotic, however, is that they all come from “deadstocks” – the leftovers designers discard when they have finished with a roll of fabric.

Until recently, it was common for deadstocks – like unsold clothes – to be burned or buried. At best, they gathered dust in storerooms.

Ever conscious of its image, luxury giant LVMH set up Nona Source three years ago, selling deadstocks at a sizeable discount to up-and-coming designers.

“I realised there were what we call ‘sleeping beauties’ in the depots, magnificent fabrics that were lying there for years after collections were made,” said co-founder Romain Brabo.

Last year, it sold some 280 kilometres (170 miles) of fabric, enough for roughly 140,000 items of clothing.

Among the regular customers is Arturo Obegero, a 30-year-old Spanish designer who uses only upcycled and recycled materials.

Despite working out of a small space in his house, he has scored some big-name orders including a sheer corset dress for Beyonce on her Renaissance tour – a sign of his skill and the increasing attraction of climate-conscious design.

“I come from a family of surfers, of fishermen. When you come from a small town, you’re connected to nature, you learn to respect it,” said Obegero.

He says Nona Source has allowed him to work in the big leagues.

“People are more conscious about which products they purchase… but it can be complicated to offer something really sustainable at an affordable price.”

Read more: Is climate change forcing fashion to adapt and become less seasonal?

Evolving beauty

As pressure mounts on the fashion industry to manage its mountains of waste and massive ecological impact,

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Looking back at Plaza Indonesia Fashion Week 2024

  • April 19, 2024

With thunderous applause and awe, the eagerly awaited Plaza Indonesia Fashion Week (PIFW) 2024 set the stage for a fashion-for ward showcase and a slew of fresh innovations.

Embracing the theme Bigger, Better, & Bolder, PIFW 2024 presented a feast of style diversity, cultural beauty, and fashion innovation. From 2 to 8 March at The Warehouse Plaza Indonesia Level 5, this fashion extravaganza showcases 31 shows from 75 distinguished brands and designers, parading 756 models and over a thousand looks.

Deputy Chief Marketing Officer of Plaza Indonesia, Zamri Mamat, reflects on the event’s evolution since 2007, underscoring its role in celebrating Indonesian fashion diversity and creativity. PIFW 2024 aspires to act as a catalyst for positive transformation within both the local and international fashion industry.

Sustainability takes centre stage this year, highlighting the industry’s capability to voice environmental consciousness and positive values through a mesmerising and meaningful experience for fashion aficionados at Plaza Indonesia.

Aside from the latest fashion trends and collections from both local and international brands, collaborations bloomed between renowned fashion designers, including an impressive roster that spans from Marks & Spencer Kids to SEBASTIANred, and from Rama Dauhan to Adrian Gan X Sejauh Mata Memandang, among others.

Prestige Indonesia was present from the very first day of this momentous fashion event, observing each runway show from the perspective of the discerning fashion enthusiast. Our highlights present avenues of fashion where designers and brands reveal their latest endeavours in a narrative that threads through the fabric of modern style and tradition.

Plaza Indonesia Fashion Week 2024 unfolded with an air of anticipation as the runway was ignited by Wilsen Willim’s collaboration with Batik Keris, presenting Sebelum Terbakar Menjadi Asap, a collection that presented 20 ready-to-wear looks infusing the rich heritage of batik with modern sartorial expressions.

The allure

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Kit Vintage Is a Secondhand Oasis in Los Angeles

  • April 18, 2024

The internet’s fame sleuths, however, are not easily deterred. When Angelina Jolie’s daughter, Zahara, wore a gold-trimmed white Grecian gown from the Kit Vintage to the premiere of “Eternals” at the Rome Film Festival in 2021, hashtags bloomed like cherry blossoms in April.

Ms. Goldberg said she appreciates that the Jolies come in to browse themselves. She wrinkles her nose a little at working with celebrity stylists, who often want items for free and can be stingy with sourcing credit. Many red-carpet regulars, anyway, are beholden to their lucrative deals with fashion houses.

And yet modern designers regularly examine the couple’s offerings for inspiration, including John Galliano, whose brand the couple says is one of the most requested these days, over a decade since he was fired from Dior after an antisemitic rant in Paris.

“He’s actually really very nice,” Mr. Plotitsa said. “And we’re Jews.”

With sites like Depop and Etsy, a younger generation has cottoned to the idea that previously worn clothes are not icky or kooky, but ecologically responsible. Many are rolling their eyes at the insane markups of traditional wedding vendors.

One bride-to-be recently spent $600 on a simple silk dress from the Kit that her artist friends could build a theme around at Burning Man; another, saying “I just want drama,” splurged on an open-backed iridescent “taffeta monstrosity” from Donna Karan’s 2005 fall runway for her rehearsal dinner for $2,500.

To properly showcase such treasures, Ms. Goldberg said she “manifested” occupancy of the current store, in a historical landmark building, after seeing a For Lease sign in the window.

“They were signing a cyber cafe,” she said. “I was like, ‘Well, that’s the wrong business for you.’”

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Pregnant Jenna Dewan Wears Feathered Gown at Fashion Trust Awards

  • April 13, 2024
Jenna Dewan Shows Off Baby Bump at 2024 Fashion Trust Awards

Jenna Dewan.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Jenna Dewan is embracing bump-baring maternity style.

Dewan, 43, rocked a silky cutout dress at the 2024 Fashion Trust Awards in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 9. Her fitted frock was finished with a plunging neckline, openings at her slides and a flowy skirt equipped with feathers. She teamed the number with even more plume on her sleeves and diamond earrings and rings from CICADA & Suzanne Kalan.

The actress — who is welcoming her third baby, her second with fiancé Steve Kazee — donned a full beat featuring smokey eyeshadow, winged eyeliner, rosy cheeks and pink lips. Her brunette hair was parted down the side and styled in voluminous curls.

On the red carpet, Dewan cradled her bump while posing with Kazee, 48. Kazee, for his part, sported a black blazer, white tank top and pleated pants. He accessorized with patent leather shoes and a gold chain necklace.

Dewan announced her pregnancy via Instagram in January. She posted a video of her in a bathtub as Kazee strummed a guitar. “Think if I make @stevekazee serenade me every night the baby will get his voice??” she captioned the clip.

Kazee shared his excitement in the comments section. “I’d have a million babies with you!” he wrote, as more stars including Nina Dobrev, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sharna Burgess and more congratulated the couple.

Dewan and Kazee are already the parents of son Callum, 4. Dewan shares daughter Everly, 10, with ex-husband Channing Tatum.

Jenna Dewan Shows Off Baby Bump at 2024 Fashion Trust Awards

Steve Kazee and Jenna Dewan.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Us Weekly confirmed Dewan and Kazee’s relationship in October 2018, six months after she and Tatum, 43, announced their split. In February 2020, Kazee got on one knee and popped the question.

Dewan opened up about her engagement during

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Paris Hilton ditches bra in daring cutout coat on Fashion Trust U.S. Awards red carpet

  • April 12, 2024

For Paris Hilton, black is the new pink.

The socialite, 43, turned heads at the second annual Fashion Trust U.S. Awards on Tuesday night in a deconstructed black blazer dress featuring a dizzying amount of cutouts.

Hilton’s edgy Mugler look featured sharp shoulders and a cinched waist with a structured skirt, which hung over a black skirt and showed swaths of skin up top.

Paris Hilton sported diamond studs and her engagement ring to accessorize the all-black Mugler look. FilmMagic
Paris Hilton showed off her body in an edgy cutout Mugler blazer for the Fashion Trust U.S. Awards on April 9. Getty Images
The entrepreneur, 43, sported an all black outfit that showed off her skin. FilmMagic
Hilton paired the look with a black snakeskin Mugler bag and oversized sunglasses. Getty Images for Fashion Trust U.S.

The mom of two paired the fashion-forward getup with sheer black tights and pointed pumps. She accessorized the outfit with a Mugler purse ($1,740) and oversized sunglasses.

While her exact look is not yet available to purchase, there are plenty of similar Mugler styles for fans to shop, including a wraparound blazer ($2,190 $1,292) that shows plenty of skin, a cutout look ($1,695) and another featuring mesh ($2,412).

The reality star pulled her blond hair in a slicked bun with a side bang framing her face and kept her jewelry simple, flaunting diamond studs and her massive engagement ring from husband Carter Ruem.

The mom of two completed the look with her hair pulled back and a side bang that framed her profile. Getty Images for Fashion Trust U.S.
Hilton attended the event alongside many Hollywood A-listers and
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Vaal Fashion Week at River Square

  • April 9, 2024

It’s time again let your creativity shine!

The Vaal Fashion Week will feature Fashion and Beauty Industry exhibitors for 4 days.

There will be matric fashions, accessories, beauty fairs, fashion shows and hair and make-up at the shopping center for three days.

The Vaal Designer Of the Year event will also be part of the Vaal Fashion Week.

The Vaal Designer of the Year will take place on Friday, May 17 at River Square. The theme for 2024 is Futuristic Street Style.

You can enter as many designs as you wish at R50 per garment. This is an ideal opportunity to get noticed in the fashion industry.

Requirements a Futuristic Street Style Themed, standard size 10 / 34 for a female model. The standard size for males is 32-34 and kids wear for ages 5-11 years.

The Diamond of the Vaal semi-finalists will showcase the Vaal Designer finalist’s garments as well as exhibitors’ and River Square tenants’ matric farewell garments.

The Vaal Designer of the Year Categories are:
1. Non-qualified designers with NO TRAINING
2. Non-qualified designers still IN TRAINING
3. Designers with an established business

Diamond of the Vaal Pageant organisers would like to invite all Vaal Triangle pupils and their parents who would like to get fresh ideas for the 2024/ 2025 Matric Farewell events to make use of this opportunity.

You could find a new, affordable couture designer at the Vaal Fashion Week.

To enter or to exhibit at Vaal Fashion Week, Whatsapp your email address to 082 4161 710.

Fashion accessories, beauty fairs, fashion shows and hair and make-up forms part of Fashion Week.

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5 fresh fashion and beauty finds for spring

  • April 5, 2024

Here are a few of the freshest finds to launch this spring.

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My style wish list seems to grow longer with each seasonal shift. A new fragrance? Don’t mind if I do. A sweet sweater? An absolute must.

With so many new options hitting shelves and online stores this season, I’ve rounded up a few of the freshest finds to launch this spring:

Article content

Valentino Donna Born in Roma Green Stravaganza Eau de Parfum. Handout (single use)

Sweet scent

One of the easiest ways to update your spring style is with a fresh new scent. This warm-floral mix from Valentino offers a herby update to its iconic elixir thanks to Lapsang Souchong tea leaves. The Donna Born in Roma Green Stravaganza Eau de Parfum boasts additional fragrance notes of jasmine and vanilla to round out the sensual scent.

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Jade Trau Previews The Relaunch Of Her Bridal Rings During New York Bridal Fashion Week

  • April 4, 2024

Jade Trau’s Hangling Scarlett Ring in 18K gold with trillion diamond and diamond pave.

With NYC Spring Bridal Fashion Week underway, jewelry designers are gearing up with new engagement and wedding rings. Jade Trau is one of these designers and is relaunching her bridal ring collection, which she is previewing now. She will reveal a full relaunch in July 2024 at her flagship shop in her Hamptons/Southampton location and worldwide virtually. Trau explains, “The Jade Trau Bridal experience allows you to try on or view your favorite styles in different natural diamond shapes and sizes and discover how each version can dramatically change the personality and feeling of its setting.”

Here Trau discusses her decision to revamp her collection, her inspiration and what’s instore for those looking for engagement ring and/or wedding band.

Jade Trau Selma ring with emerald in 18k gold with half platinum pave.

Why did you decide to relaunch the bridal part of your collection?

JT: “I looked at what our bridal collection was, and it felt like a compilation of a decade of individually designed greatest hits. I decided it was time to take a more holistic and cohesive approach to Jade Trau bridal that encompasses both our most beloved styles and new styles that I’ve been excited to share. I also feel like the rules and feelings around bridal has changed and I wanted to make sure all of our rings work well together for those you want to take a less traditional approach.”

Jade Trau Mariam ring in 18K gold ring with east to west oval set in platinum.

Would you describe this as a natural evolution since you began the collection?

JT: “Yes, definitely. The combination of my many years as

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Blue Diamond Resorts celebrates Earth Hour across its portfolio

  • April 1, 2024

Other initiatives included non-electrical acoustic performances that provided entertainment without impacting energy consumption, an enchanting LED light show and a fashion runway featuring garments crafted from recyclable materials.

Noting that sustainability isn’t merely a goal at Blue Diamond Resorts but rather a core principle that drives its operations, Alejandro Rodriguez del Peon, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, said: “As custodians of some of the Caribbean’s most breathtaking destinations, it is our duty to safeguard and preserve our natural environment. Earth Hour serves as a poignant reminder of our responsibility to future generations.”

Comprising eight distinct brands including Royalton Luxury Resorts, Hideaway at Royalton Resorts and Planet Hollywood Beach Resorts, Blue Diamond is fully dedicated to integrating eco-friendly practices across all its properties, from reducing energy and water consumption to minimizing waste and supporting local communities. Select Mexican resorts participate in turtle and marine life preservation, while others in Mexico and Jamaica feature dedicated composting areas. Moreover, the brand donates surplus food to local farmers and eco-gardens in select resorts.

For more information go to www.bluediamondresorts.com.

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