Pandora has hired model Ashley Graham as a spokesperson for its new lab-grown diamond brand as it goes “all in” behind the product line, company CEO Alexander Lacik told Bloomberg Quint.
Lacik pledged to put unprecedented “muscle” behind the new fashion line, called Pandora Brilliance. And he hinted that while the product is currently being tested in the United Kingdom, it may soon be offered worldwide.
“There have been a lot of small players putting their fingers into the pot,” he said, “but no one with the muscle. So let’s see. We are applying the marketing muscle. We’re going all in.”
But he added that, like more Pandora product, the new offering will fit into the fashion category rather than bridal.
“The lazy approach would have been to say everyone is in bridal and everyone is in engagement, so let’s go in there and market the fact that we are a third of the cost.… [To] me, that just lacks imagination and creativity. Do I want to be the guy famous for cheapening diamonds?”
He added: “It’s very easy to fall into the trap of: ‘I’m a cheap wannabe.’ We don’t want to denigrate the value the industry has built up around diamonds—the whole flair around diamonds. We definitely want to keep that.”
The line’s prices will start around $300 for a 0.15 ct. piece—slightly more than the price set by De Beers’ Lightbox brand, which charges $200 for a 0.25 ct. diamond with no mounting. Online, you can currently find 0.3 ct. lab-grown diamonds for as low as $116.
The interview represents something of a shift in tone for Pandora, which unveiled the new offering with what some saw as a slam on natural diamonds. Lacik said that Pandora will still tout the sustainability of the line—which uses carbon offsets to defray the large amounts of energy used to produce the diamonds (60% of which is currently said to be renewable). But he said that sustainability, along with the low price, will not be a key component of the message, which is built around “transformation.”
Pandora has also reached out to SCS Global Systems, which has a certified sustainable diamond program, to “learn more about their work,” says spokesperson Johan Melchior.
Until recently, Lacik had indicated that he wanted Pandora to refocus on its signature charms. Yet, Pandora’s recent lab-grown media push—plus the mention of going “all in”—seems to indicate that this line has become a high priority for the company.
Melchior says that Pandora Brilliance is the first significant launch under its new strategy, Phoenix, launched in May.
However, this new campaign does not mean “that we will invest less in our existing core business. As mentioned, that is still very much a key focus of our strategy.”
This story has been updated with additional comments by Melchior,
(Photos courtesy of Pandora)