As a company, African Romance has since its inception, made a commitment to make a real effort to deal with the need for local beneficiation of the continent’s raw precious minerals and metals into diamonds and fine jewellery. Their tagline is therefore very appropriate – “Africa’s First Luxury”… In just three years, African Romance has become an icon in representing the entire diamond and jewellery value chain, and is the only company of its kind on the continent.
The African Romance brand is ready for retail expansion and is moving into its ‘second level growth’ with the rollout of unique and distinctly African diamond and jewellery stores.
The Sandton Eye store will be amongst the first ‘new look’ retail stores that will be rolled out over the next 12 months. Their Head Office in Sandton has already proven to be a phenomenal success, with revenue growth far beyond all expectations. During the recession year, company revenues grew over 250%, indicating the need for a true African Luxury Brand in the South African luxury goods market.
DÉCOR AND DESIGN OF THE NEW STORE
The inspiration behind the store’s decor is to present a complete African experience to the consumer, whilst highlighting the primary elements that reflect the ancient nature of diamonds as a commodity. The African Romance brand is connected to the age-old art of story telling. In the same way as each product item has a story, the store concept tells of ancient traditions such as lekgotlas, where ancient communities gathered to tell stories, share information and interact, manifested in the circular nature of the store and a modern interpretation of the reed boma. The African Romance community transforms the oldest stones on earth into works of art and masterpieces of design and excellence. The images reflected on the focus wall in the new store, are those of their people that proudly work with their hands to produce magnificent jewellery pieces, and the histories of their communities from where the diamonds originate. The African Romance store is an African community at work, inviting the consumer to be part of and to taste “Africa’s First Luxury”.
The constant search for the true meaning of African luxury remains as elusive as Africa’s heritage and African Romance leads the way in that process.
An iconic floor-to-ceiling lampshade reflects the romance, rich colours and warmth of the African continent, whilst the African night sky is symbolized by the domed ceiling specked with tiny spotlights (stars) that sparkle like diamonds and illuminate the jewellery on display. These décor elements represent the allure and intrigue of the African Romance brand.
In-store focal points include a circular carpet, emblazoned with the African Romance icon. Beautifully African inspired crafted drum displays hold the finest selection of African diamonds and jewellery. The colour palette captures the essence of the romance and the warm luxurious spirit of Africa. The use of rich exotic colours, materials, textures and patterns symbolize the continent’s diverse landscape, and influences of African tradition and culture can be found in the ornate displays that represent a fusion of African elements, including imagery of the roots of a tree that anchor African drum shaped displays units. A row of vertical wooden slates, backlit to create a warm glow, symbolizes the reed boma structure one traditionally finds at an African homestead.
In summary, the African Romance store represents the rich African continent, which is a melting pot where a variety of societal and cultural expressions mix with the most primitive traditions and the most contemporary art and architecture. African Romance strives to reflect a unique and undeniably African style, where an African aesthetic fuses African fine textured traditional architectural influences with modern day trends.
MORE ABOUT AFRICAN ROMANCE DIAMONDS
African Romance rough diamonds are purchased locally from 100% conflict free and accountable companies and are polished by South Africans into some of the world’s best diamonds. There is no technology anywhere in the world that does not exist at their facility in Sandton. They have furthermore trained a South African team in every aspect of the polishing of their GIA certified ‘excellent cut’ grade diamonds. Their staff are 94% black and 41% are women. They have also trained the first black women in the world in how to utilise the sophisticated Bentonville laser diamond saw. Over 60% of their diamonds are now certified as GIA excellent cut grades, one of the highest excellent cut grade production ratios in the world. After the diamonds are cut, African Romance designers then uses local cultural and traditional influences to design and manufacture some of the finest jewellery in the world, all with a distinct African flavour and a true connection to its African Heritage. All the diamonds they produce are further laser inscribed with a unique serial number on the girdle of the stone, which cannot be erased and which tracks the origin of every diamond, from its rough form to the polished final product.
The new African Romance store at The Sandton Eye will be complete in September 2010. The new 13-storey Sandton development will include 5000 square meters of boutique retail space, twelve penthouse suites and a five-star Radisson Blu hotel.
For more information on African Romance, visit their website on www.africanromance.com , or contact the African Romance head office on +27113845600