The Rise of Diversity-Led Scholarships in Fashion

When Olivia Landau, founder and CEO of the jewelry startup The Clear Cut, was studying to be a gemologist, she realized just how much everyone around her looked like, well, each other. The lack of diversity was stark for Landau, who’s a woman of color and a first-generation American.

“The diamond industry, historically, has been dominated by mostly middle-aged men,” Landau tells Fashionista. “Even to be a female entering this space is pretty new.”

While attending the Gemological Institute of America, she noticed most of her peers already had familial connections to the industry. And because it’s so insular, it’s also inaccessible, Landau argues. “It’s very niche, and it might not be a career many people had access to or knew was even an option,” she says. “That leads to the industry being very homogeneous.”

Katheleen Knopf

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