It’s long been said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend and that girl just might be Kristina Buckley Kayel. As the managing director of the Natural Diamond Council and a seasoned vet in the luxury world, she’s spreading the word on the wonders of natural diamonds.
What are the key focuses of the Natural Diamond Council?
To inspire consumers globally with the modern diamond dream and to educate them on the values, social benefits, and integrity of the natural diamond industry. We achieve this with our Only Natural Diamonds platform, which operates as both a content publisher and advertiser. As a publisher in the U.S., China, India, and Europe, we communicate daily to young luxury consumers on the wonders, cultural relevance, artistry, and legacy of natural diamonds. Our website, naturaldiamonds.com, has drawn more than 100 million unique visitors within the past year who explore content written by best-inclass editors and experts in the jewelry and fashion space. We can now claim that we’re the No. 1 global authority on natural diamonds. As an advertiser, we first launched our “For Moments Like No Other” campaign last year featuring our ambassador, Golden Globe–nominated actress Ana de Armas, who inherently embodies the authenticity, naturality, and passion that is synonymous with what natural diamonds represent. We’re excited to launch the sophomore campaign with Ana this September. “For Moments Like No Other” celebrates the role of natural diamonds as the ultimate embodiment and expression of life’s most meaningful moments and relationships, and also portrays the modern array of diamond jewelry today, breaking through the stereotypes as to when and how diamonds should be worn.
What’s your professional background, and what are your responsibilities in your current role?
My career has always been in the luxury-goods world, working at preeminent houses such as Baccarat, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta, and Van Cleef & Arpels. I’ve steered these legacy brands to position their distinct story and value proposition in dynamic and new ways while staying true to their core identity. Obviously, leading digital transformation has been paramount but balanced and integrated with creating best-in-class, unique experiences. Luxury today must do both extremely well. Focusing on the target consumer’s journey coupled with staying in tune with what’s happening in the Zeitgeist has always been my compass in how best to deliver the brand story and experience so as to surprise, delight, and be inimitable. Transitioning from brands to representing the entire category of the ultimate luxury good has been an exciting whirlwind The diamond industry has a profound global impact, supporting the livelihood and well-being of 10 million people worldwide. I’ve seen this firsthand. My main responsibility is to drive our mission and share this amazing world through all strategic touchpoints with our target consumer—how we show up on our social channels, our website, through press and partnerships, our media placements, and, as the world reopens, experientially. It’s a dynamic ecosystem we’re navigating every day. It’s fun and a steep and stimulating learning curve.
You’ve said in the past that the diamond industry and modern mining are undergoing incredible transformation. How so?
Transformation, sustainability, and transparency aren’t a new topic for the diamond industry. For the past two decades the industry has been doing this work. But now more than ever, consumers have an appetite for it, they want to know the impact of what they’re buying, and how their purchases are giving back and bettering the regions and communities producing them. Acknowledging this, we created the “Thank You, By the Way” initiative, which puts the spotlight on the incredible positive impacts of the industry, and is supported by the Responsible Jewellery Council, the leading ethics and sustainability body for the global jewelry and watch industry. It’s time for the consumer to see this and to thank them for their conscious purchase decisions. You can learn more at naturaldiamonds.com/thankyou.
Tell us a little about naturaldiamonds.com.
The website is a go-to resource for innovative content celebrating all that’s happening in the world of natural diamonds. The platform is a source of inspiration but also info for global consumers, promoting the values and heritage of natural diamonds, as well as the innovation and talented designers that make this industry so exciting. There’s also a page dedicated to diamond professionals that provides the latest industry news.
What’s next for jewelry?
The diamond industry is known for its multigenerational family businesses, and while these decades-old traditions are part of what make the industry so unique, it’s these same factors that make it difficult for newcomers to enter the business. That, coupled with the obvious barrier of the high cost of raw materials. To support new designers trying to enter the industry, specifically the underrepresented BIPOC designer community, we launched the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative in partnership with Lorraine Schwartz. To resonate with young consumers, we need to support talent that they feel represents them. Up-and-coming designers bring a fresh perspective and unique vision to diamonds. Diversity advances the entire industry, and there’s a lot of diverse talent to look forward to meeting!