Columbia Business School x Parsons School of Design, 2015
This project was the final deliverable for The Design & Marketing of Luxury Products Master Class, a program developed by the Luxury Education Foundation. In this semester-long course, our team (four MBA students from Columbia Business School and four students from Parsons) worked closely with Graff executives to design a new repeatable collection and supporting marketing and launch strategies
Our team was presented with the challenge of designing a line of products inspired by The Lesotho Promise, a 603-carat diamond unearthed in 2006 and acquired by Graff in 2008. As the 15th largest diamond to be discovered, the stone was then expertly cut into 26 flawless gems ranging in size from 3.14 to 76.41 carats.
A thorough analysis of the brand’s legacy, values, and marketing channels, along with a competitive analysis, helped us understand Graff’s position in the market.
We performed mystery shopping trips to understand how a Graff client experiences the brand. We also conducted in-depth qualitative research on customers' journeys by interviewing longstanding salespeople.
Through iterative concept sketching, Parsons team members developed the Promise Motif, which is recognizable, visually resembles the holding of hands, and represents the unbreakable bond of a promise. The design was created using only precious metals, so that the interlocking loops of the motif could act as both a setting for Lesotho-shaped stones and as an easily repeatable motif in pieces that did not contain precious stones. Our product designer rendered the product lineup based on our sketches and 3D printed prototypes.
For the launch of the Promise Collection, we recommended a collaboration with Alvin Alley, an unexpected and exciting compliment to the Graff brand but whose values, prestige, and precision aligned with the story of the Lesotho Promise.
I created the above rendering of Koch Hall at Lincoln Center, where Graff would present a performance choreographed by Alvin Alley Artistic Director Robert Battle that celebrates the unbreakable bonds of the Promise Collection.
AR Launch Application
I created the wireframing and above rendering for the first Graff mobile application. Using Augmented Reality, a special application released at the launch would allow attendees to virtually try on pieces from the collection by forming a connection with other guests and sharing their special bond on social media. Using a tiered-launch, the application would first be available to influencers and guests of the event, and then to the general public.
We developed a marketing campaign that celebrated the unbreakable bonds of friendship, family, and eternal love embodied by the Promise Collection.
I photographed various iterations of hands representing each unbreakable bond, then superimposed renderings developed by our product designer over the hands to create the advertisements. The interlocking hands became a prominent motif throughout the campaign, mirroring the Promise Motif both visually and metaphorically. Above, a rendering depicts the campaign visuals at Graff's Sloane Street boutique. Below, campaign visuals appear in magazine advertisements.
I also designed and rendered satin shopping bags in Graff green in addition to helping develop packaging for the engagement assortment.