Monique Lhuillier, known for her floral and romantic designs, has extended the aesthetic into lab-grown diamond rings and wedding bands.
Lhuillier’s new lab-created diamond engagement rings and wedding bands are an addition to her Bliss fine jewelry collection sold at Kay Jewelers, which is a division of Signet Jewelers Ltd. “I always love to give my brides more options so this option is a wonderful new trend in jewelry. A lot of brides want a bigger impact on a bigger stone,” Lhuillier told WWD in an interview. Her collaboration with Kay began two years ago, with a jewelry line with natural diamonds. The lab-grown diamonds are “a natural evolution” to her jewelry collection, Lhuillier said.
Lhuillier established her business in 1996 with her husband, Tom Bugbee. “I have been working with my brides for 27 years and I really wanted to have the ethos of my wedding dresses expressed in the rings as well,” Lhuillier said. The rings evoke her signature “romantic with a modern twist” style, as she says. “You can really see the elegant details from my dresses on the rings.”
Whatever she designs, Lhuillier loves to work with color, print and patterns. She designs ready-to-wear, accessories and bridal collections and has a celebrity following.
The new addition to Lhuillier’s Bliss collection features independently certified lab-created diamonds set in 18-karat gold. The collection consists of twelve engagement ring styles, six universal matching bands and three ladies’ lab-created diamond bands. The engagement rings feature round, princess cut, oval, emerald and pear-shaped lab-created diamonds set in 18-karat yellow, rose and white gold. Lhuillier’s lab-created diamond collection are sold on kay.com and at select Kay stores. The prices range from $1,099.99 to $18,999.99.
According to Signet, Kay diamonds, natural or lab-created, are conflict-free and responsibly sourced.
Lab-grown diamonds are gaining popularity because they offer an affordable alternative to natural diamonds, and don’t carry the humanitarian concerns sometimes associated with natural diamond mining. A lab-grown diamond can be one-third to one-fourth the cost of a natural diamond with the same specifications.
Lhuillier said that aside from continuing to build out her jewelry collection with Kay, she’s working on opening more of her namesake stores. She only has four. She sells her fashion in 75 doors around the world, and collaborates with Pottery Barn on home designs.
“Monique Lhuillier knows the modern consumer and that is embodied in every design she creates for the Monique Lhuillier Bliss bridal jewelry collection,” Bill Brace, president of Kay Jewelers, said in a statement. “She strives to create elegance and romance in everything she does, which is why her designs are seen around the world from red carpet premieres to VIP brides.”