Written by Helen Siwak
When the doors of the newest location of Kimberlite Diamonds opened on South Granville, in the back right-hand corner, a woman sat painting on small grey boards. Wearing a tea-length off-white gown, Zhu Wenjun was creating a series of illustrations that showcased small elements of nature blended with jewels. As Chief Designer for Kimberlite, Zhu traveled to Vancouver to share in the story of the North American expansion for this, by industry standards, relatively new diamond jewelry company.
Conceived in 1995 and launched in 1996, Kimberlite Diamond is the first definitive Chinese brand to specialize in diamond jewelry and has firmly established itself with almost 700 retail locations. In 2015, Kimberlite Diamond was, and is, the only jewelry brand from China to showcase at the annual ultra-exclusive Baseworld pavilion in Switzerland alongside industry legends such as Bulgari, Graff, Harry Winston, and Chopard.
Choosing Vancouver to house the North American flagship location was not difficult according to Kellan Dong, CEO. He shares that as a company they “recognize the potential growth of spending power in North America, especially in Vancouver – an iconic multicultural city, where people well-accept different cultures and new ideas.”
The intimate opening of the custom-built location on South Granville was the first of two events Kimberlite planned to showcase, not only their collection of consumer-ready pieces but also their Fine Jewelry Collection valued at over $50M.
Mere days after the flagship launch, over 200 special guests gathered waterfront at the Vancouver Convention Centre for an impressive evening hosted by local personality and pageant queen Maria Rincon.
Between runway shows and speeches by honoured guests, the attendees were treated to stellar performances by Chinese opera singers Yu Junjian, Wang Yifeng, and Yin Xiumei, all of whom flew in especially for the event. Also sitting in the prestigious front row were Dong LiuSheng, President of Kimberlite, Yu Shanjun of the Chinese Commercial Consul, Kimberlite’s Head of Canada Erica Chen, and Hong Kong-based actress Linda Chung.
While the location was magnificently decorated with custom-K shaped stage set and runway, giant diamond ice sculpture, and three digital media boards, it was the signature haute masterpieces that captivated. Draped in Grecian-style gowns of royal colours, the models magically told the story of the power and beauty of nature with their grace and jeweled accessories.
Although the Kimberlite brand has only been available in Vancouver for a month, the company is already looking to expand their presence in North America with talk of locations in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles.