Along with the night's performances by Jennifer Hudson, Estelle and Robin Thicke, Schwartz is auctioning off a piece from her amazing collection in order to raise funds for Rich's Gabrielle Angel Foundation For Cancer Research, named after Rich's daughter who died of leukemia at the age of 27 and inspired the annual Angel Ball benefit.
On the eve of one of the city's best events, StyleList caught up with Lorraine Schwartz for an exclusive chat.
StyleList: Tell us about the medical research grant you founded with your brother and sister.
Lorraine Schwartz: My mother passed away from cancer 15 years ago at the age of 55. So, cancer is something that's in our family and it's horrible. I always feel that there are two kinds of people: those who went through having cancer or loosing someone from cancer and those who haven't.
I've known Denise Rich for several years and I've supported her Angel Ball, but this year I wanted to be an actual part of it and do this grant. We're donating the money ourselves and I'm just thrilled to be able to support doctors who are doing this really important research. I think if people knew more about cancer, they'd realize it's much easier to be a donor than it seems.
SL: After the night's over, what do you want people to walk away with?
LS: First, I just want people to have a great night. But most importantly, I want people to realize that if we each give a little bit, we can help eradicate cancer from the world. Hopefully when people see who else is involved and how much we can raise, they'll want to become a part of it. If I get just one more person involved with the cause -- not just financially, but emotionally -- that's great.
SL: Switching gears to jewelry, you've had several big years, but especially your recent work with Beyoncé and the titanium glove you created for her "Single Ladies" video. How did that come about?
LS: I just love her. She's incredible and very talented. She wanted something a little bit harder and robotic for the "I Am... Sasha Fierce" album. She kept thinking about having a superhero-like look and she wasn't sure exactly how, but I presented her with a few of my ideas and drawings of the glove.
I said we should use titanium because it weighs, like, nothing, compared to gold or silver. We actually did a mold of her hand in wax and it was a pretty incredible experience. At first, people didn't understand it and now I've gone to restaurants and I see people wearing knockoff versions.
SL: We hear you consider Beyoncé your muse.
LS: She is my muse! I've been working with Beyoncé for many, many years. I knew her when she was in Destiny's Child and when she went on her own, we just formed a bond.
She's an incredible and beautiful human being. She gives me so much inspiration and she ends up driving so many trends. She basically trusts me to come up with anything and she gives me so much leeway, it sometimes drives me crazy.
SL: Jay-Z came to you to design Beyoncé's wedding ring. We know you can't reveal much, but how was that experience?
LS: Please, it was terrifying, but I was honored! I will say that Jay-Z picked out the best stone we have: a D flawless diamond.
SL: You've done a lot of other celebrity engagement rings. Have you noticed any trends there?
LS: I think going big is very "in." Most of the celebrities I've worked with have gotten stones over 5-carats, but they want something that's unique to them and that could be the color more than the size. They want something that they're not going to see someplace else.
SL: You've focused on diamond monkeys in the past. Is there anything you are obsessed with currently?
LS: I'm actually doing a new collection with smiley faces. I'm a big believer that what you wear and what you think can come back into your life. So the monkeys were about hear no evil/see no evil/speak no evil.
And I did an eye several years ago that was all about protection. These smiley faces are about being happy and I think when you think that way, you might better appreciate what you have. They'll be out around December.
SL: Jewelry brands like Me&Ro and Stephen Dweck are launching lower-priced lines. Do you think you'd ever do anything like that?
LS: I haven't done it yet, not because I haven't wanted to. I've been busy and traveling. But yeah, I think it's great when designers collaborate with brands like H&M and Target. I might do something like a limited edition at some point -- right now, I'm so busy with my line. But the future is open to anything.
For more fashionable ways to support a good cause, check out these breast cancer awareness fashion goodies.