A few weeks ago, there was unspoken anxiety in the office; not in a negative way, more a sense of unease, of baited breath. This was the lead up to launching VOW – Vrai & Oro Wedding. The collection required years of planning, as most good things often do. Between research, design, and production, we have been busy tying up loose ends, and are beyond thrilled to share the end result with you.
At its very core, VOW has one key message: to redefine engagement from the ground up. This includes three main components- the experience, the design, and the diamond–all of which have been carefully analyzed and planned with precision that only months of behind-the-scenes can execute. To start, we addressed the issue of what is known to be the “typical” engagement ring process. In the traditional setting, pressure is heavily weighted to one side; most commonly, the male. The “traditional” experience typically includes countless visits to friend’s jewelers and falling victim to sales tactics performed by over-the-top “diamond guys,” or worse–left to search through thousands of product pages–left feeling stressed and overwhelmed. We hope to change that, shifting the focus towards a straightforward and mutually involving process.
We love to examine traditions and this was certainly no exception. Beyond believing that marriage (and the engagement process) is for everyone, other traditions raised flags for us. Why is the decision for a ring not mutual? Why do we consistently turn a blind eye to the ethical issues surrounding the engagement industry? And why is it that the ring design always comes second to the diamond?
1. Redefining the RingThe first aspect we focused on was the ring design itself. We’re not here to reinvent engagement, just here to adapt it to the modern world. Prioritizing human-centered design, we started at the base and rebuilt the entire structure from there. That is–we considered that engagement rings and wedding bands are to be worn everyday. So why is it that they tend to be chunky and protruding? We considered the width and roundness of the band to ensure simplicity and comfort, adjusted the height of the setting so it wouldn’t get caught on pockets and such, and even altered the shape of the prongs that hold the diamond in place– not too pointed and not too round– just the perfect in-between for securing the stone while still letting its brilliance shine.
2. Redefining the DiamondOur second priority was to redefine the traditional diamond. Mined diamonds are questionably sourced–they are typically passed between too many people before even reaching storefronts–a process we consider too opaque for our liking. Because of this, we partnered with Diamond Foundry, a solar driven Silicon Valley based company that has pioneered growing real diamonds through technology. We explain more about the diamond growing process here, but the end result is a real diamond– same quality grades as a mined diamond, but 100% cartel-free and sustainable.
3. Redefining the ExperienceThe third (and final) aspect of VOW is the experience itself. We offer the ability to try rings for 7 days in the comfort of your own home–our solution to creating a mutually involving process. We call this our Home Try On, and it’s a bit like Warby Parker: choose three settings and we’ll send you mock rings to try at home, for free. The try-on comes standard with a 1-carat CZ, size 7 gold-plated ring and allows you to assess the band width and setting height. Marriage is the union of two people, yet the decision to choose an engagement ring usually involves only one person–we think it should be a joint decision. With the Home Try On, you can wear the ring for a week to test comfort and style, before deciding what works best with your partner.
We’re excited about our partnership with Diamond Foundry (more to follow) and with the launch of VOW– we hope you are too. To view the full collection visit us at: vow.vraiandoro.com or learn more in Vogue and InStyle.