Latest Vrai & Oro News
Nov 27, 2019
Photo: Courtesy of Vrai & Oro In 2017, the possibilities are endless when it comes to weddings. Want to get hitched in a tree house? Or serve a “cake” made of donuts? Go for it. You can even get married at Kate Middleton’s palace and hire someone to write your maid of honor speech . One thing that is still hard to do, try as you might, is find a completely sustainable, conflict-free diamond ring. Brides-to-be who are wary of the diamond industry might work with a jeweler to verify that their diamonds are ethically sourced, but it’s impossible to know for certain if they harmed the planet or a person along the way. That was a big problem for Vanessa Stofenmacher, who spent two years working on a collection of diamond engagement rings for her direct-to-consumer, everyday jewelry brand, Vrai & Oro . “Our whole philosophy is to bring transparency to the industry, so when we started looking for a diamond source, it was really disheartening. Even ethical diamonds drain the lakes and destroy the ecosystem, so there’s a fine line between what’s ‘ethical.’ And the diamond industry itself is completely corrupt—it operates like a cartel,” she explains. “Then we came across Diamond Foundry on Instagram, and it was exactly what we were looking for.” Advertisement Put simply, Diamond Foundry grows diamonds in a lab . “It’s a completely sustainable cycle,” Stofenmacher says. “They start with a sliver of a diamond, which is placed in a reactor with plasma as hot as the sun. By adding carbon, which is what happens in nature, it forms into a diamond within two or three weeks. Atomically, it’s identical to a diamond from a mine.” But it also couldn’t be more different, because there are zero doubts about its origin, carbon footprint, or human impact. R. Martin Roscheisen launched Silicon Valley-based Diamond Foundry to the public in 2015, and it remains one of the only sources for “morally pure,” technologically produced gem-quality diamonds. It even got Leonardo DiCaprio’s attention—he was among the 12 investors who raised more than $100 million for the company last year . “There hasn’t been any substantive innovation in [the diamond industry] since the late 1990s,” Roscheisen says. “We’ve been impressed with the tremendous momentum that Vanessa and her team have managed to build online [with Vrai & Oro] and are psyched to join up with them on their next plans.” (Diamond Foundry recently acquired Vrai & Oro, so the feeling seems to be mutual.) Photo: Courtesy of Vrai & Oro Advertisement Tonight, Vrai & Oro and Diamond Foundry will celebrate the launch of Vrai & Oro Wedding at Delilah in Los Angeles. Vogue.com has an exclusive first look at the collection in the slideshow above; the rings will be available for purchase next week. There are 10 styles, ranging from solitaires to popular “halo” rings, and each one has customizable options, from the type of gold to a plain or pavé band. “We really wanted to create new versions of classic designs,” Stofenmacher says. “It’s a minimalist approach, but we wanted them to be thoughtful and practical. So it was more of a challenge to design the small details of how it fits and feels on your finger.” You’ll notice the diamonds look just as brilliant as any you’d see in a high-end jeweler, and you can choose from the Four _C_s, too: cut, color, clarity, and carat. Right now, Diamond Foundry is only able to grow diamonds up to three carats, but it will add larger sizes in the future. Prices start around $2,000, and depending on your selection, a ring can max out at about $30,000, so there’s a ring for every budget. Another point of differentiation: They’re aiming to connect with women first, whereas most engagement rings are marketed to men. “Traditionally, the man has all this pressure to find the perfect ring, but women are getting more involved in the process,” Stofenmacher says. “It’s such a huge decision, so we’re seeing it as a joint process where she’s involved and helping design.” You can check out the rings in person at Vrai & Oro’s new retail space in Row DTLA when it opens this spring, but if you aren’t near Los Angeles, there’s also a try-on system (similar to Warby Parker’s). You will be able to choose three mock rings to try on in the comfort of your own home at no cost, with no obligation to purchase. If you’re in the market for a ring—or you not-so-secretly enjoy looking at them!—you can browse the whole collection today at vow.vraiandoro.com .