GRAFF

Company History

Graff Diamonds was founded in 1960 by Laurence Graff OBE and continues to operate as a family business. Laurence Graff began as a diamond apprentice at the age of 15 with a passion for beautiful jewels and has grown Graff into a diamond empire and one of the world’s preeminent jewelry brands. Graff is a true diamond company and is involved in every stage of the jewelry making process – from the sourcing of each rough stone, right through the cutting, polishing and final setting of each exquisite jewel. Graff’s history sparkles with iconic and beautiful diamonds including The Graff Constellation, The Delaire Sunrise, The Magnificence, The Empress Rose, The Paragon, The Star of Bombay and The Imperial Blue. Graff Diamonds has now grown to over 50 stores globally in North America, Europe, The Middle East, Africa and Asia. Henri Barguirdjian was named President and CEO of Graff Diamonds USA in 2000 and opened Graff’s first US flagship store on Madison Avenue in 2001.

The Challenge

The project objective was to design a line of products inspired by The Lesotho Promise and executed in a repeatable collection consistent with the standards of excellency of the Graff brand. In 2008, Graff acquired the 15th largest diamond ever discovered – the 603 carat Lesotho Promise. The rough diamond was painstakingly cut and polished by an expert team, yielding 26 magnificent flawless gems ranging from 3.14 to 76.41 carats.

“The Promise Collection”

The eight-person team from Parsons The New School for Design and Columbia Business School created “The Promise Collection” – a full line of beautiful products that celebrates the discovery of The Lesotho Promise, the history of Graff and the love stories of Graff customers. The team also developed a comprehensive launch strategy, marketing plan, mobile app and advertising campaign to promote and generate excitement about the collection.

The Promise Collection is rooted in the miracle of nature, daring innovation and creative precision that Graff has perfected in the entire diamond process. These elements were imperative in the life cycle of The Lesotho Promise and are the DNA of the Graff brand and the new collection. The Promise motif, central to the entire collection, features an unbreakable connection between two separate pieces – interpreted through the theme of the deep human connections and visualized by interlocked hands. The theme of connection is the key to unlocking the Graff mobile app – once a connection is made, the Promise Collection pieces can be visualized and shared. The concept of making and sharing promises is also key to the social media campaign, which encourages individuals to share the promises they make to loved ones. This unifying design is consistent through the collection’s engagement pieces, women’s repeatable and men’s repeatable lines. The pieces are offered unadorned, with pave diamonds or with the fabulous diamonds that are synonymous with the Graff name.

The Team

  • Carly-Ann Fergus, Parsons The New School for Design, Fashion Studies, MA

  • Natalie Han, Columbia Business School, MBA

  • Jamie Jick, Columbia Business School, MBA

  • Shweta Lakhani, Parsons The New School for Design, Fashion Design, BFA

  • Julia Liao, Parsons The New School for Design, Product Design, BFA

  • Grace Liu, Columbia Business School, MBA

  • Tyler Stafford, Parsons The New School for Design, Strategic Design & Management, BBA

  • Tiffany Yu, Columbia Business School, MBA