Industry / Retail

Lab-Grown Brand Vrai Opening Four Stores This Year


Vrai, the direct-to-consumer brand owned by lab-grown producer Diamond Foundry, hopes to open four new stores this year.

Vrai—pronounced Vray—has plans to open street-level locations in Toronto (mid-May), New York City (second quarter), Madrid (mid-April), and Boston (third quarter). The brand is also eyeing stores in Washington, Dallas, and Miami, says brand president Mona Sadat Akhavi.

The company currently has 12 locations: six in China and stores in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, London, and Madrid. The new stores in New York and Madrid will replace those cities’ current locations, which are temporary showrooms (the New York site is a second-floor showroom, while Madrid’s is a street-level pop-up).

“The new cities for our four showroom openings this year can vary depending on locations,” Akhavi says. “Plans can change, as you can imagine with any retail expansion. We’re a digital-first business at core. Expanding our offline retail has created a strong touchpoint with our customers.”

Each new store will “look like a gallery, not a traditional legacy jewelry store,” Akhavi says.

She adds that, unlike in the past, most customers already understand what lab-grown diamonds before they walk in the door.

“There is no question if it’s [a] real [diamond] or not,” she says. “We are able to have a true conversation about the size, the caratage, the general conversation of buying a jewelry piece.”

Some new locations will have a “diamond bar,” featuring over 100 carats of diamonds in multiple shapes and sizes. Vrai will also offer education about its diamonds, which will include swipes at the “lack of transparency and false claims of scarcity by the mining industry.”

Diamond Foundry purchased the Vrai brand, formerly known as Vrai & Oro, in 2016.

Vrai San Francisco showroom
Vrai’s showroom in San Francisco

Top: Vrai’s showroom in Los Angeles (Photos courtesy of Vrai)

Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine

By: Rob Bates

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out