Known for her juicy color combinations of carnelian, rose
quartz, and other jewels, Irene Neuwirth is branching out into less-familiar
and colorless terrain: diamonds. In the past week, the California-based
designer has unveiled the Irene Neuwirth Diamond Collection, a 50-piece assortment
of jewels for Barneys. While the collection will reside temporarily in New York
City, pieces will also be available for purchase at the merchant’s other locations in Chicago, San
Francisco, and Beverly Hills, Calif.
The designs are made in 18k gold and still have the same trademark Neuwirth look—bold cuts of stones with feminine details like
rose gold, rose cuts, and halo-style designs—but with more bling: One pair of earrings has nearly 25 cts. t.w. diamonds. Still, some of Neuwirth’s
comfortable colored stones—chrysoprase, Rose de France, and labradorite—are evident, along with some super high-end
cuts of boulder opals and sapphires.
“The looks don’t differ that much from my existing designs,
they’re just a little more refined,” Neuwirth told JCK. “We’re using harder-to-find
qualities of opals, with bigger diamonds surrounding them. It’s hard to even
call it a ‘diamond collection’; it’s more of a bespoke collection.”
The designer says the idea for a diamond line evolved over the last
four years of her 10-year relationship with Barneys for a number of reasons:
the retailer’s requests, the economy (“More collections have gone safer looking
and more mainstream in style,” she says), and demand from people who saw a modern,
one-off engagement ring she made for a friend. “People want safer, bigger,
and bolder pieces,” she adds. There are about 15 SKUs of diamond
engagement rings and weddings bands, all with contemporary styling, in the mix
at Barneys. Prices for the Irene Neuwirth Diamond Collection start at $5,000 retail.
Earrings in 18k yellow gold have 7.26 cts. t.w. colorless
Ring in 18k yellow gold has 3.04 ct. rose-cut center stone
and 1 ct. t.w. colorless pavé; $52,300
Earrings in 18k white gold have Rose de France, 23.26 cts.
t.w. rose-cut diamonds, and 1.72 cts. t.w. colorless pavé; $75,000
Earrings in 18k white gold have 9.40 cts. t.w.
multi-colored rose-cut diamonds and 1.32 cts. t.w. colorless pavé; price on
Earrings in 18k white gold have boulder opals, 3.03 cts.
t.w. rose-cut diamonds, and 0.91 ct. t.w. colorless pavé; price on request
for Style 360 blog