Nice Ice

Savvy retailers—from fashion to furniture—know that the best way to grow business is to understand the end user of the merchandise. Many retail jewelers, however, are completely missing a strong and growing segment of jewelry buyers by ignoring the hip-hop culture that places a powerful emphasis on fine jewelry, especially diamonds. Icons like P. Diddy and Russell Simmons, who have refined hip-hop to a sophisticated level; popular magazines like Vibe; and a generation of hip-hop stars and their fans all celebrate diamonds and diamond jewelry—the bigger the better. Yet, almost shockingly, there is a complete dearth of retailers catering to this demographic.

In less than five years, jewelers like Chris Aire and Jacob the Jeweler rose to national fame on the wings of their hip-hop fans. Retail jewelers, by identifying this market and welcoming them into their stores, could do the same on a local level.