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Our design DNA is modern and clean, but we are also culturally sensitive

Federica Imperiali Forevermark

Besides a degree in Business Administration from Luigi Bocconi University – Milan and a First Level Master Certificate in Marketing and Communication from Publitalia’80 Milan, Federica Imperiali’s breadth of experience and understanding of global trends and influences landed her the top job at Forevermark – the diamond brand from The De Beers Group of Companies, in 2016.

Ever since she has assumed the position of Head of New Product Development, the brand has grown by leaps and bounds and the iconic Red Carpet collection, the Time Capsule collection and the Half Carat campaign are some of the highlights of her illustrious ongoing term. She has devised several strategies that have changed the rules of the game globally and Forevermarks Trend Report that set the tone for the global development is one of them.

So reaching out to this industry heavyweight, whose views can help jewellers prep up for the sales season ahead, becomes compelling for a magazine such as Floroscent that promises its readers to educate and empower vis-à-vis diamond trade. Praveer Sinha therefore, went all about to get her interview wherein she talks about her brand strategy, her perception of Indian consumers and yes, what future holds for the trade at large. Read on the thought-provoking interview of this inspiring figure.

Forevermark five row diamond choker

You’ve been Head of New Product Development at Forevermark for more than two years now. How has been the journey and what is your vision for the brand?
Being a part of Forevermark has been absolutely wonderful and different from my previous experiences, as the approach in Forevermark is particularly about the design that appeals to the consumers. We try to understand and analyse the values of our core consumers and deliver the same accordingly. It is our collective vision to be the ultimate diamond brand and provide diamonds that are beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced.

According to you, what makes Forevermark diamonds better than the rest?
Every Forevermark diamond is given an inscription that represents a three-fold promise: the diamond is beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced. We take pride in saying that less than one per cent of the world’s diamonds can have this Forevermark inscription as our diamonds go through a rigorous 17-step process, which goes beyond the traditional 4Cs of Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat. With this promise, consumers are reassured that Forevermark diamonds are unique, natural and a store of emotion and value.

How would you describe Forevermark’s position in the jewellery market as a whole?
Forevermark is uniquely positioned in the market as the only one-of-its-kind diamond brand, which gives the assurance of exceptional standards of beauty, excellence in business practices and ethical sourcing.

What are your thoughts on India’s jewellery market? And how do you perceive the Indian consumer’s aesthetic sense vis-a-vis the rest of the world?
The Indian jewellery market is extremely diverse. The preferences in designs, gems, choice of precious metal changes as you move from the North to the South or the East to the West. It is exciting to understand the various occasions, styles of jewellery within the Indian market.

As Forevermark, our design DNA is modern and clean but we are also culturally sensitive. So, in terms of shapes and silhouettes, we are influenced and inspired by local traditions even when it comes to creating occasion-wear jewellery to match specific needs. With regards to India, I have noticed that Indian women like jewellery that has the ability to transform. For instance, a double-layered necklace that can be detached and worn as a bracelet or stackable rings that they can combine as they like. I think this is in tandem with the evolving personality of Indian women. They are looking for everyday options. Even wedding jewellery is now sometimes composed of smaller pieces that can be reused.

Forevermark recently launched its ‘Time Capsule’ collection in India. How has the response been? Describe the creative process behind the collection?
Our collection inspired by the ‘Time Capsule’ trend is a thematic play on antique inspirations from Roman, Greek and Victorian pieces, translating them with a modern design language. Time Capsule references the aesthetics of antiquity where the columns of Grecian temples and the curves of Roman urns are replicated in metalwork and into which Forevermark diamonds are set. Taking this as a cue to begin with, the trend of ‘Time Capsule’ aims to bring a whiff of fresh air to history. Every piece of jewellery preserves beautiful history with it, making it a wonderful keepsake. The collection inspired by the trend is aimed at the festive season beginning now and so, we are excited to see how it is received by consumers.

Could you elaborate on the Half Carat campaign for India? What is the strategy and the creative thought behind it?
The Half Carat campaign is really to focus on the qualities of a woman and the things that she is proud to have accomplished in her personal life and all that she does for her family, her quest to become a better person and this is what she would like to celebrate. The campaign has been conceptualised to define the emotional connect between a woman and a half carat diamond, as the perfect expression of her focus on personal achievements.

According to you, at present, what are the designs most popular globally?
Geometric shapes and clean lines are currently pretty popular—think bold, contrasting patterns and diamonds of different cuts and shapes paired together so it looks like a mosaic. There’s also a lot of mixing and matching, designs like charms and emphasis on stackable designs. Motifs inspired by nature will also be very popular. I think the way forward is contrast, like pairing round diamond and princess-cut diamonds.

Are you seeing any trends in diamonds for the Indian market?  What kind of shapes and sizes are popular now?
In the Indian market, there is a combination of traditional and modern designs that makes jewellery here unique. Indian history, especially its design and architecture, is a huge source of inspiration for us. Some of our Roman-inspired designs are similar to Indian jewellery. Currently, we are promoting a lot of fancy cuts now, though I think round diamonds will continue to be popular.We have therefore introduced half-carat diamonds, based on research that women now buy their own jewellery and make their own choices.So, the Half Carat campaign is a tribute to the bold, beautiful, brilliant woman.

The emergence of branded jewellery is one of the biggest trends that is shaping the diamond industry. Where do you see branded diamond jewellery positioned in consumers’ minds?
Branded jewellery is a trend because it comes with a few pre-set assurances for the consumers. Branded jewellery sets a standard about the quality, the origin, ethical business values, brag value and other reasons that are increasingly important in their purchase decision.

What are Forevermark’s nearest plans?
The Half Carat campaign has already started showing traction in the market. We will be continuing our focus on this for the duration of the festive season. From a design perspective, we have collaborated with ace fashion designer Sabyasachi for the Zanyah collection. We plan to bring successful global designs to India such as the Tribute collection, a range of stackable rings.  These are targeted at the woman who has playful side to herself, as it allows her to celebrate everyday in variety of styles. Traditional setting is a collection born in India and inspired by the preferences of the southern market.

Is there any specific message that you would like to convey to your consumers through Floroscent?
Diamonds are a way to express our personality. Today, you can purchase a diamond set of stackable rings and chains that can be worn everyday as per your mood. It’s also great to style your jewellery in new ways. So, go ahead buy your Forevermark diamond and be completely reassured that it is natural, beautiful and responsibly sourced.

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