British jeweller Roxanne Rajcoomar-Hadden has joined forces with the Natural Diamond Council (NDC) to launch the RRH Diamond Academy.
The academy was established as a mentoring and networking programme to help ten emerging designers from diverse backgrounds break into the fine jewellery industry.
Applications will be evaluated by a judging panel which includes Rajcoomar-Hadden, Melanie Grant, luxury editor at The Economist 1843, Rachel Garrahan, jewellery editor at British Vogue, Annabel Davidson, jewellery editor at Vanity Fair and Raluca Anghel, head of external affairs and industry relations at Natural Diamond Council.
Over the 10-day programme, successful applicants will hear from industry experts covering everything from how to build a brand and navigate the design process, to how to source materials ethically, manage the manufacturing process and run PR and marketing campaigns.
Rajcoomar-Hadden said: “I strongly believe the fine jewellery category needs to look for more talent from diverse backgrounds to drive a new creative vision in the designs we are seeing. I am looking forward to sharing all I have learnt on my own journey.”
Lisa Levinson, head of marketing and communications UK at Natural Diamond Council, added: “We recognise that it can be difficult to break into the diamond industry. Through this programme we want to make sure that designers with talent and drive from all backgrounds can pursue their dreams without any obstacles.
“We are really looking forward to seeing the talent that comes through and hope to help launch the careers of the next super star diamond jewellers.”