Kerry Diamond, 2013

Kerry Diamond, 2013

Kerry Diamond is an advocate for community, storytelling, sustainability, and uplifting women’s voices and work. She is the founder of Cherry Bombe, a media organization centered around women within and adjacent to the culinary world. She also hosts Radio Cherry Bombe, a chart-topping podcast that celebrates and hosts conversations with trailblazing women within the industry.

Natalie and Kerry meet first in 2005, as Natalie was preparing for her first (and only) runway show during New York Fashion Week. The discussion below between Kimry Blackwelder and Kerry Diamond was conducted via email on March 24th, 2021.


Kimry Blackwelder: What is your earliest memory of Natalie and/or Alabama Chanin? 

Kerry Diamond: When I worked at Lancôme, we were the makeup sponsor for Natalie's show at Bryant Park. I think it was the first time Natalie showed in the tents and it was a big deal. I remember thinking she was so cool and unique and different from the other designers showing that season. And then touching her dresses backstage and feeling the weight of them and seeing the craftsmanship that went into them. It was breathtaking. Also, one of my new interns walked on the runway in the middle of the show that day. That took my breath away, but for different reasons! I still don't know if anyone saw, but I had a small heart attack. I sent flowers to the show producer and still apologize when I see her.

KB: How do you think Alabama Chanin has impacted and/or influenced sustainability in the industry over the past 20 years? 

KD: Natalie was a pioneer in this respect. She has talked the talk for so long, while others have merely paid lip service. Visiting her in Florence and seeing her workshop really brought her vision for sustainability to life for me.

KB: Do you have a favorite Alabama Chanin piece, collection, or collaboration? If so, why does this stand out to you? 

KD: Probably Natalie's Heath collaboration. I love a food-fashion collab and I was so happy to see these two amazing American artisans come together. There's something so beautiful about Natalie's tabletop pieces for Heath, it almost moves me to tears... not to sound too dramatic.

KB: Do you have any fond memories or experiences during which you recall wearing Alabama Chanin? 

KD: I wore one of Natalie's gowns to a breast cancer research fundraiser in New York City, and I could not believe the weight or the construction. I'd never worn anything like it and haven't since. The work that went into the dress was astounding, and I loved that you could literally feel the craftsmanship as you moved. There was so much substance to the dress, in so many ways.

KB: Can you describe your most memorable encounter or experience with the Alabama Chanin brand? 

KD: Visiting Natalie in Florence. It was fun to see her in her element, with her brand alive all around her.

KB: What do you feel is Alabama Chanin’s most enduring quality? We want to know what comes to mind first and what resonates with you? 

KD: That Natalie has followed her own path. She's never tried to be like anyone else, never needed to be part of the fashion flock, and championed the South, although it probably would have been easier for her to be based in New York and make her clothes elsewhere.

KB: As our industry evolves, what do you hope to see for the future? Where do you see Alabama Chanin in this vision? 

KD: The relentless quest for newness and all these different seasons have burned out the designers, the editors, and the lovers of fashion. I'd like to see a return to what Natalie has always championed: beautiful, timeless pieces made with love in a way that respects people and the planet.

KB: Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to Natalie or the Alabama Chanin team? 

KD: You're the ‘bombe,’ Natalie and Team AC! I'm so inspired by people who carve their own paths and you've been a bright light for me all these years. 

This fall, we look forward to releasing a new collaboration with Heath Ceramics. Originally slated to launch in the fall of 2020—what would be a harrowing season for all. A year later, we are grateful for the opportunity to share it with you soon.

Learn more about Cherry Bombe here.

Listen to Radio Cherry Bombe here (and on your favorite podcast-streaming service).

Read along in stories, recipes, and more from Cherry Bombe Magazine here.

Slide 1: Kerry Diamond wearing the Waffle Wrap and holding her beloved Camellia Etched Serving Platter in Rhode Island, March 2021, photographed by her brother; The Camellia Etched Serving platter from the Alabama Chanin and Heath Ceramics collaboration, 2013, photograph courtesy of Heath Ceramics (read more about this collaboration here)

Slide 2: Cherry Bombe Magazine Issue No 2: Baked, cover photograph by Jennifer Livingston, 2014 photograph by Abraham Rowe

Slides 3–5: “Fired Up: The Latest Chapter in the Story of Heath Ceramics, The Iconic, Collaborative Tableware and Tile Company” by Janet Ozzard, photos by Annabel Mehran, Cherry Bombe Magazine Issue No 2: Baked, 2014, photographs by Abraham Rowe (hear from Cathy Bailey, pictured in slide 5, here)