Monday, October 2, 2023

Why Kate Hudson and Rachel Zoe Ventures Just Invested In This Long Lost French Jewelry Brand


Revived heritage jewelry brand Oscar Massin has partnered with celebrities Kate Hudson and Rachel Zoe Ventures to promote its lab-grown-diamond-based sustainable jewelry.

The recently revived Oscar Massin jewelry brand is aiming to attract a new generation of jewelry shoppers with its sustainability commitments including its carbon-neutral lab-grown diamonds. The brand, which launched last month, has now added actor Kate Hudson and designer Rachel Zoe’s investment arm Rachel Zoe Ventures as investors, the company says.

The brand is the brainchild of Frédéric de Narp, former CEO of Swatch Group’s Harry Winston, and Coralie de Fontenay, a longtime executive at Richemont’s Cartier. Under their Luximpact label, they’re bringing brands back to life including Massin—a popular 19th-century French jewelry house, and Art Nouveau-era brand Vever. 

“We want to give life to these precious brands, while redefining the codes of the industry,” De Narp told The Business of Fashion last month.

Luximpact tapped designer Sandrine de Laage, also from Harry Winston and Cartier, for the first Massin collection.

Impact investors

Hudson and Rachel Zoe Ventures joined the company as minority stakeholders for an undisclosed amount; both said they were drawn to the company because of its sustainability and transparency efforts.

“Oscar Massin is the first heritage jeweler to use lab-grown diamonds that are climate neutral. Kate and Rachel understood that. They wanted to be part of the story, and to promote the values of a new generation,” de Narp said in a recent interview. He met Hudson while working at Cartier.

lab-grown diamonds
Image courtesy Oscar Massin

“She is very much into sustainability, and so collaborative,” de Narp said. Hudson will also serve as an “authentic ambassador” for the brand, promoting it among her social media followers, and highlighting its “craftsmanship and quality.” Zoe will assist with strategy and styling.

The announcement comes on the heels of two sustainable launches by Hudson. Last month the Fabletics founder debuted a clean-ingredient face mask with Juice Beauty. Last week, the star launched her InBloom range of plant-based smoothies in partnership with the Australian coffee chain, Bluestone Lane.

Rachel Zoe Ventures is the designer’s early-stage impact investment venture capital firm. It says it’s focused on disruptive consumer technology platforms and solutions.

Lab-grown diamonds

Unlike mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds have no risk of coming from a conflict region or ties to child labor. They also have a smaller carbon footprint. Aether, a lab-grown diamond company that just received its B Corp status, says each carat sold is the equivalent of 20 metric tons of CO2 taken from the atmosphere. The company says that’s about the same as offsetting the average American’s carbon footprint by 1.25 years.

Image courtesy Aether

Lab-grown diamonds have been backed by celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio—an investor in Vrai, the consumer-facing jewelry brand arm of the Bay Area Diamond Foundry. The ten-year-old company received a $1.8 billion valuation last year along with a $200 million funding round from Fidelity last spring. It says it’s creating diamonds at “mining scale,” and has developed a proprietary reactor that can form plasma as hot as the sun at “unprecedented density.”

Pandora has also earned celebrity backing for its lab-grown diamonds, including support from actor Madeleine Petsch and model Ashley Graham.

Recent consumer data found that shoppers were more inclined to support sustainably sourced diamonds and jewelry and willing to pay a premium for brands that were transparent about their sourcing as well as their carbon footprint.

Luximpact is aiming to reach these customers with the Massin label. All of the jewelry is made with lab-grown diamonds and 100 percent recycled gold and platinum. Luximpact is working with WD Diamonds to produce its stones. The company’s environmental and sustainability claims are verified by SCS Global Services.


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